More Counterproductive Nonsense From the Mind of Jeff Sessions

No matter what you think of our current Attorney General, you have to admit that he is maddeningly consistent in his support for terrible ideas.

All you have to do is imagine any criminal justice idea that has overwhelmingly been debunked by scientific consensus and is universally held to disadvantage poor people of color and you can bet dollars to a donut that Jeff Sessions will double down on it.

This week, Sessions let the National District Attorney’s Conference in Minnesota know that the DOJ would be increasing their asset seizures (aka Civil Asset Forfeitures).

As usual, he announced this by saying something nonsensical:

“[W]e hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture ‘especially for drug traffickers,’” Sessions said. “With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.”

Nonsensical because forfeiture happens before someone has been found guilty, is nearly impossible to reverse once someone has been found innocent, is disparately applied against the poor and people of color, and because it creates a profit motive for police departments to go forfeiture shopping.

You might be wondering how this practice is legal. Well, usually it is legal because the property is considered what is guilty or innocent not the person who legally owns it. In other words, if your car is borrowed and the police suspect that it was used in the commission of a crime, they can take it from you and sell it in order to create a cash benefit for the police department doing the seizure.

Yup, the property is held guilty or innocent.

How soon is someone going to realize that with this Attorney General (and with this Administration) what we want to see as ignorance is really epistemology?

When are we going realize that the Sessions-led DOJ are interpreting what we see as overwhelming failure in the research as overwhelming success?

Sessions is not lost in nostalgia, he is trying to remake the world in his image.