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Presumed Guilty

A 1991 Pittsburgh Press mini-series

on forfeiture laws

by Andrew Schneider and Mary Pat Flaherty

This six-day series chronicles a frightening turn in the war on drugs. Ten months of research across the country reveals that seizure and forfeiture, the legal weapons meant to eradicate the enemy, have done enormous collateral damage to the innocent. The reporters reviewed 25,000 seizures made by the DEA. They interviewed 1,600 prosecutors, defense lawyers, cops, federal agents and victims.. They examined court documents from 510 cases. What they found defines a new standard of justice in America. You are presumed guilty.

Part 1: The Overview

Part 2: The Way You Look

Part 3: Innocent Owners

Part 4: The Informants

Part 5: Crime and Punishment

Part 6: Reforms

See also:
See also: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on reform bill
See also: Pending bill to reform forfeiture laws
See also: Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (F.E.A.R.)


Ammendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Ammendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


(from the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America)

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