Statement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on Strengthening of Asset Forfeiture Law

Twenty-three years ago I authored a law to protect Californians from government overreach by ending asset forfeiture. The law said that in most cases, a person must first be convicted of a crime before that person’s property can be forfeited to the government, and it passed with support from Democrats and Republicans. Seizing people’s property if they’ve only been charged with a crime is un-American, and it’s definitely un-Californian.

Today Governor Brown signed SB 443 and closed a loophole created at the height of the drug war that undermined this important protection of Californians’ constitutional rights. Thanks are due to Governor Brown for protecting Californians’ civil rights and to Democrats and Republicans who came together to pass the bill and make California once again a national leader on this issue. 


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