Michigan’s’ Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) wrote an opinion piece published in The Detroit New, stating his want to reform Michigan’s asset forfeiture law.

It is a well written piece giving good reasons why Michigan’s asset forfeiture law must be reviewed in its current format and possibly reformed.

He wrote the following:

“Government exists to provide services to the people, not to profit off them. Unfortunately, some Michigan police departments are doing the latter with actions hidden from public view. Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives are going to change that.”

“Far too many people are falling prey to a well-intentioned but flawed policy called civil asset forfeiture. Under this law, officers are charging into people’s homes and businesses and seizing cash, cars and sometimes even the homes themselves. While this can be an effective way to hit real criminals in their pocketbooks, in many cases, criminal charges are never filed against the owner. Police nevertheless keep their possessions and, in some instances, auction them off for cash without any real records. When these private citizens ask for their possessions to be returned, they are often asked to pay a large fee and spend years in an impossible loop of red tape and bureaucracy.”

In the piece he informed us that the House has recently unveiled their Republican Action Plan, a plan that explains their top legislative priorities for the next two years.  Part of that plan includes their intention to review and reform Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws.  He states that the House Republicans are committed to protecting the rights of every Michigan resident and their belief that Michigan deserves a better, more transparent government.

Speaker of the House House Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) stated the House will hold public hearings on this issue and bring in experts from all sides of the issue to testify to find the best possible solution.

He also reiterated that “Our local police have an important job to do, and they do it well. But we have to ask why the law directs them to treat innocent people the same as criminals when it comes to asset forfeiture.”

Sounds like a great idea to me, let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of the current asset forfeiture law and determine how to make it fairer to the citizens of Michigan.

Do you believe it is time to do so?

What took them so long to review this law that has been harming people who have not been charged with a crime all over the United States?

Let’s discuss this today on my show the Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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