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Professor David Pimentel Publishes on Prospects for Forfeiture Reform in the U.S.

February 01, 2018

Professor David Pimentel Publishes on Prospects for Forfeiture Reform in the U.S.

Criminology and Public Policy called upon Professor Pimentel -- who has published multiple articles on Forfeiture Policy -- to do peer-review of an empirical piece it was considering for publication. Upon completion of the peer review, the journal asked him to submit a policy essay of his own to accompany its publication of the original article. Professor Pimentel concludes, "[O]ur society remains vulnerable to the problems of civil asset forfeiture and the potential for law enforcement to abuse it. Although some states have taken the issue up, almost every one of the reform measures adopted has fallen short of what would be required to correct the problem. Leaving the door open to federal equitable sharing is, perhaps, one of the most common and most glaring omissions in these reform efforts. In some instances, this may be a mere oversight, but more likely it is the result of lobbying by law enforcement, which has the power to brand an incumbent as 'anti-police' and 'pro-cr iminal' if a legislator dares to defy it. Until a more general consensus emerges politically to bring civil forfeitures to an end, therefore, the legislative fixes that emerge are likely to be weak and ineffective, especially against the powerful profit motive that drives police both to lobby against the reforms and to find ways around any new restrictions."