LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter J. Lucido was a featured guest panelist on Wednesday at a Mackinac Center for Public Policy event, Civil Asset Forfeiture in Michigan: The Case for Reform and How to Get it.
Lucido, who chairs the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, was highlighted by the think tank as a relentless advocate for criminal justice reform in Michigan, including civil asset forfeiture.
The discussion centered on the need to reform civil asset forfeiture in the state and featured points of view from Lucido, law enforcement and researchers.
Currently, law enforcement has the authority to take and keep the property of individuals who have not been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.
“The current civil asset forfeiture process in Michigan has been abused for too long and must be reformed,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “That’s why I have a bill to make the system fairer by requiring that individuals be convicted of or have pleaded guilty to a crime before law enforcement could take ownership of their personal property through the civil asset forfeiture process.
“It only makes sense that we make this change to protect the due process rights of innocent property owners, while still empowering law enforcement to be tough on crime.”
Lucido’s Senate Bill 2 was approved by the chamber in February with overwhelming bipartisan support and awaits passage by the state House of Representatives.
More information on the event is available at https://www.mackinac.org/26298.
Sen. Peter J. Lucido speaks during a forum on reforming civil asset forfeiture.