Kansas measure aims to change forfeiture laws
Associated Press - February 21, 2016 1:49 pm
Kansas lawmakers are opting not to act this year on questions raised by an audit critical of the state's asset forfeiture laws. Instead, they are asking a judicial advisory group to review potential changes.
A bill in the Kansas Legislature would change the current forfeiture law and require that a person has to be convicted of a crime before the state can take their property.
Kansas’ current forfeiture law does not require a person to be convicted of a crime before law enforcement can take property they believe was used in a crime.
The Lawrence Journal World reports (http://bit.ly/1QD067Y) a forfeiture case is civil, not criminal, and law enforcement must prove by a preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt that the seized property was used in a crime.
The new measure would require individuals be convicted of a crime before they can have their property taken.
Several law enforcement agencies oppose the measure because forfeitures provide police agencies with needed funding.
Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com.