Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tennessee HB3398 Forfeiture law turns registrants into profits

Civil forfeiture laws were originally devised to separate criminals from the fruits of their crimes, usually dope boys, but this growing and disturbing trend in the USA is being used in increasingly scary ways. The Tennessee HB3398 is your average civil forfeiture law directed at registrants, but it is the accompanying media article is what makes it scary. After reading it, you may want to check out the site "Forfeiture Endangers American Rights" (FEAR).

Sex Offenders Could Lose Their Ride Under Proposed Bill

By Adam Ghassemi
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – It was a quick stop for lunch Thursday and a chance for five-year-old Kaden Woodard to enjoy the park. His mother, Jennifer Woodard, was always close by knowing she can't risk taking her eyes off her four kids because there are people out to hurt them.
"It's a real concern for me as a parent," Woodard said.
Last fall, Hendersonville Police arrested 42-year-old Keith Barcus, a registered sex offender, rode his bike to a nearby park anyway. He was later charged with a sex offender registry violation.
Now HB3398 would allow investigators to not only arrest offenders, like Barcus, for violating the terms of their release, but also seize their property or vehicles as well.
"People who prey on children look for any way to get into that area," said Sergeant Jim Vaughn with the Hendersonville Police Department.

Vaughn says the idea could be a good deterrent to keep sex offenders away from places they aren't supposed to get near in the first place. "So people won't want to go to the park because they're aware if they go in there and if they get caught they're going to lose that vehicle that got them into the park," he said.
"We're just looking for ways to try to make them understand that they've got to stop hurting our kids," said Representative Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville, who sponsored the bill.
Maggart says she hopes this will stop repeat offenders. "Sex offenders are usually very clever people. They're very manipulative people and so they're always looking for a way for whatever law we put in place," she went on to say.
That could make parents, like Woodard, feel like their children are a little more safe. "You try to protect your kids at all costs and if there's certain laws that's going to help do that then it makes you feel a little bit better as a parent," she said.
The bill would amend current law to allow law enforcement agencies to seize any personal property used by sex offenders convicted of preying on children. That means anything used to get them to places they aren't supposed to be could be sold to benefit child advocacy centers, court appointed advocates and the child abuse prevention fund.
The bill is still making its way through committee in the Senate. It's scheduled to go before the House next Wednesday.
Below is the politico responsible for this crap, and the stupid quotes in the article. Feel free to voice your disapproval:

Rep. Debra Young Maggart

District 45 — Part of Sumner County — Map

district address

112 La Bar Drive
Hendersonville, TN 37075

nashville address

301 6th Avenue North
Suite 103 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone (615) 741-3893
Fax (615) 253-0350

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