Skip to main content

Daniels Vetoes Indiana Asset Forfeiture "Reform"

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #688)
Consequences of Prohibition

A bill that would have given 90% of the proceeds from seized cash and goods to local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies involved in the case has been vetoed by Gov. Mitch Daniels (R). The remaining 10% would have gone to the Common School Fund.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) has vetoed a smelly asset forfeiture bill. (Image courtesy state of Indiana)
Under the Indiana constitution, all proceeds from seized items must go to the Common School Fund, but county prosecutors and law enforcement agencies have found several means of skirting the law. Some county prosecutors have contracted out asset forfeiture cases to private attorneys, leading to lucrative pay-outs to lucky litigators. Others have claimed ludicrous law enforcement "expense of collection" costs to justify keeping hold of their looted lucre.

In vetoing Senate Enrolled Act 215, Gov. Daniels said paying out 90% of every forfeiture dollar to police and prosecutors for "expense of collection" was improper. "That is unwarranted as policy and constitutionally unacceptable in light of the Supreme Court's recent guidance and the plain language of Article 8, Section 2 of the Indiana Constitution," Daniels said in his veto message.

On April 27, the state Supreme Court reaffirmed that asset forfeiture funds must be paid to the Common School Fund. But two days later, the Republican-led General Assembly voted to approve the change in asset forfeiture distribution anyway.

Now, Gov. Daniels has stood up for Indiana schoolchildren -- and the rule of law -- in the face of the law enforcement lobby and despite the wishes of his own Republican peers.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


GMK (not verified)

For once a Republican does the right thing... kinda.  If he REALLY was doing the right thing, he would get rid of asset forfeiture altogether because it is being abused to ruin people financially.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 1:05am Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

In reply to by GMK (not verified)

Asset forfeiture should be illegal except in cases where a conviction has already been obtained.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 2:48am Permalink
erikjay (not verified)

In reply to by GMK (not verified)

Daniels has no authority to "end" asset forfeiture. Legislatures write the laws. He did all he could do. It's a start.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 10:27pm Permalink
kickback (not verified)

Asset Forfeiture is the pride and joy of the cops and the district attorney`s office. This is drug war economics 101. Who is the one group that clings to the drug war? Those who profit from it of course. How dare communities spend more money on education than incarceration. Oh, and the banks know how to launder the funds. The drug war has been nothing but a sham on the American taxpayers since day one. Follow the money. Follow the jobs. Follow the careers. The government is about to belly up, so this madness will soon end. The drug war industry is a cancer on the American landscape. A cancer that is in the process of being rooted out. History will be very unforgiving on those that pushed these lies and propaganda onto the masses. Harry Anslinger is reaping the fruits of his twisted ideology in ways that I`m sure he seriously regrets. I pitty him not. As well as those that seek to follow in his footsteps to hell. Ideology is questionable, but facts don`t lie. If facts meant anything to Washington politicians, the drug war would`ve  never been enacted. But I guess that`s what we get when we elect psychopaths to Congress and the White House. Vote for Ron Paul or another serious candidate instead of what the media spoon feeds you. 2012.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 4:07am Permalink
joebanana (not verified)

Asset forfeiture is unconstitutional. Nobody shall be deprived of life liberty or property, without due process. How much clearer does it have to get? While I'm at it, the war on drugs is treason, why aren't we prosecuting the real criminal?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 1:35pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.