Crime commission rejects asset forfeiture reform measure

wlni-defaultRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia State Crime Commission has refused to endorse legislation prohibiting authorities from seizing ill-gotten assets until a defendant has been convicted and appeals have been completed. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the panel voted 9-3 against supporting the measure Thursday. Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette, a member of the commission, said recent reports about police abuse of asset seizures concern federal law, state law. Brunswick County Sheriff Brian K. Roberts also said Virginia doesn’t have a problem with asset forfeitures. Republican Del. Todd Gilbert of Shenandoah County argued that that most Virginians expect the government to be able to seize property only if a person is convicted. The General Assembly last year declined to vote on the legislation and sent it to the commission for further study.

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