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Innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt

  • March 21st, 2007

Good to hear the Green and Maori Parties’ spirited defence of that ancient and vital principle. They oppose the bill to allow confiscation on suspicion of criminal connections. It would allow it  without conviction, or even when a conviction is overturned.

Shame on the pusillanimous parties that supported it, especially NZ First and National. They should expose disgraceful smokescreen bills like these as Labour’s desperate attempt to look tough on crime. 

Comments

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Damn straight. So much for reasonableness. And where the hell was Act’s vote?

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  • Anonymous
  • March 26th, 2007
  • 12:17 am

What a shame if Mr Big donated a few grand to the taxpayer.Ofcourse he may have won it at the races or found it under a macrocarpa hedge.

The Greens are a limp-wristed bunch of wimps, and the Maoris, well say no more…..

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The American experience with civil asset forfeiture has been horrible. Police departments get a cut of the takings, resulting in some rather shoddy incidents where the main motivation really seems to have been the money that the police department could get by making a forfeiture. See this ISIL report, for example.

Perhaps Labour could be asked why they wish to mimic the worst aspects of America here. They seem pretty happy to tar National with that brush…

Anonymous: it’s easy to give a knee-jerk “oh, they’re just criminals, who cares” response. And that might be justified if it were forfeiture SUBSEQUENT TO A CONVICTION. The proposed legislation allows forfeiture without conviction. Look at what’s happened in the States under similar legislation. From ISIL:

In Malibu, California, park police tried repeatedly to buy the home and land of 61-year-old, retired rancher Don Scott, which was next to national park land. Scott refused. On the morning of October 2, 1992, a task force of 26 LA county sheriffs, DEA agents and other cops broke into Scott’s living room unannounced. When he heard his wife, Frances, scream, he came out of his upstairs bedroom with a gun over his head. Police yelled at him to lower his gun. He did, and they shot him dead.

Police claimed to be searching for marijuana which they never found. Ventura County DA Michael Bradbury concluded that the raid was “motivated at least in part, by a desire to seize and forfeit the ranch for the government . . . [The] search warrant became Donald Scott’s death warrant.”

Don’t let it happen here.

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