Attorney General Holder Severly limits Equitable Sharing.

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In an unexpected move, Attorney General Eric Holder has severely crippled the controversial practice of local law enforcement seizing property and cash under Federal seizure law. By rescinding the Equitable Sharing program, local law enforcement can no longer seize private property and keep a portion, up to 80%, of the seized assets.

According to The Washing Post, local and State law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have seized more than $3 Billion in 55,000 civil seizures since 2008. Such seizures do not require any evidence of illegal activity and once seized, citizens must prove the asset was not gained through criminal activity. With the elimination of this program, agencies will be able to seize assets only under their respective State laws, which generally require a much higher standard than mere suspicion.

This action is certain to impact the budget of many local and State agencies, but is good news for citizens like Sergio Andrade Gutierrez, who no longer need to worry about improper seizure of their property. Police will no longer be able to stop a citizen, search the car, and seize cash or even the vehicle on the mere suspicion that the assets were used in, or acquired by, criminal activity.

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