Kansas lawmakers send asset forfeiture bills to law experts

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — House Judiciary Committee members will wait for input from an advisory committee before making any new policy regarding a law that allows police officers to seize and forfeit citizens’ property.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Blaine Finch referred five bills for review to the Kansas Judicial Council, an advisory committee made up by the judiciary committees’ chairs and chief justice appointees. Finch said in a statement he expected the group to make recommendations and “possibly draft legislation.” He says it likely won’t have a proposal this year.

Critics of asset forfeiture say the practice violates property and due process rights by allowing officers to seize property from potentially innocent citizens and often keep the proceeds. Officers say it helps them stop profitable crime, like drug trafficking.

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