John A. Steakely
SCOTUS Strikes A Blow Against Civil Forfeiture
The Supreme Court ruled today that the seizure of a $40,000 over a crime with a maximum penalty of $10,000 violated the US Constitution's 8th Amendment protection against excessive fines. Here in Georgia, most felonies have a $100,000 maximum, so it's unlikely that the police will ever seize more than that, but remember that some forfeitures happen when no crime at all is charged. Those forfeitures are now easier to challenge thanks to this ruling.