Groups: End police confiscation of assets if no conviction

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Groups on the right and left of the political spectrum are calling for an end to law enforcement’s ability to confiscate people’s assets without convicting them of a crime.

The process known as civil forfeiture lets police seize and ultimately take ownership of cash, homes and vehicles thought to be associated with criminal activity, even if no crimes are proven.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan released a report Tuesday saying more than $270 million in proceeds were forfeited from 2001 to 2013 in Michigan, with no way to tell if property was forfeited in connection with a conviction.

The groups, with backing from Attorney General Bill Schuette, are first calling for more transparency and to change evidentiary requirements in civil court.

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