Separate Hearings Held on Changes to Oklahoma Forfeiture Law
Advocates for overhauling Oklahoma's civil asset forfeiture laws say the current system is ripe for abuse and should be changed so that innocent people can't have their cash seized by law enforcement.
Several legal experts testified about shortcomings in Oklahoma's current law Tuesday during a hearing at the state Capitol.
But the changes are being fiercely opposed by prosecutors and law enforcement, both of whom directly benefit by receiving the seized proceeds. Supporters of the current law are testifying at a separate interim study at the Tulsa Police Academy.
Oklahoma City Sen. Kyle Loveless has introduced a bill that would require a criminal conviction before someone's cash or property could be seized. Current law only requires a preponderance of evidence that the money or property was derived from illegal activity.