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Civil Asset Forfeiture Priority When Michigan Lawmakers Return

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Some state lawmakers want to make it harder for law enforcement to take property involved in a suspected crime.  A committee plans to work on the bills after spring break.

They’ll work on the bills – but don’t expect a rush job.

“There’s people that want something fast, they want it now, they want it by this time, and that’s just not the way the Judiciary Committee it going to operate.”

Jim Runestad is chair of the committee the bills are in.  He says he and other stakeholders have been working on changes to a series of bills.  But changes might not be as aggressive as originally planned.

For example, one bill that would require a criminal conviction before property could be taken might not get the votes to pass.

But Runestad says they’re close on others.  Like requiring prosecutor oversight of the property.  And requiring officer training before they can seize property.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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