Sources tell The Daily Caller News Foundation that Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Matt Mead Tuesday vetoed SF14, the civil asset forfeiture reform bill. The bill had gained wide approval and was riding a recent tidal wave of attention on the issue of civil asset forfeitures.
According to documents provided to TheDCNF, the governor touted the importance of cutting the profit from illicit drug activity. He praised civil asset forfeiture, saying “it is important and it is a right.”
“Crime should not pay, especially drug crime,” a letter from Mead vetoing the bill reads. “We do not have the abuses found in other in other states.”
The bill would require a felony drug conviction with a penalty of one year in prison before police can take property. Now, police can seize assets if they believe the property is used for drug activity, all without convicting or even charging you with a crime.
“I’m greatly disappointed that the Governor chose to veto SF14,” Wyoming State Rep. Kendell Kroeker told TheDCNF. “Civil asset forfeiture violates the 5th, 6th, and 7th amendments to the US Constitution. As Americans I believe that we hold to the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty and our laws should reflect this. I hope that we are able to override the Governor’s veto and send the message to the citizens of Wyoming that we believe that the Constitution matters and that the government does not have the right to take away the possessions of her citizens without convicting them of a crime.”
Attorney General Eric Holder limited a fraction of civil asset forfeitures earlier this year.
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