As momentum builds for passage of a much-needed civil asset forfeiture reform bill in Pennsylvania, our newly released polling reveals a groundswell of support for overhauling the civil asset forfeiture process. Fix Forfeiture’s new poll, released with the Commonwealth Foundation and ACLU of Pennsylvania, shows that nearly 8 in 10 Pennsylvanians believe the current system needs to be fixed:
79% of Pennsylvania residents agree that current forfeiture laws require major reforms. An overwhelming majority of respondents supported reform across party lines, including 75% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats and 87% of independents.
After voters heard both sides of the argument, support grew to 84% in Pennsylvania.
Supporting civil asset forfeiture reforms can help legislators at the polls: Pennsylvanians said they were more likely to vote for legislators who support civil asset forfeiture reform than less likely by a 4 to 1 margin.
This comes ahead of a hearing in the state Senate to reform the civil asset forfeiture process.
“These polling numbers confirm Pennsylvanians recognize the need for reform,” said State Senator Mike Folmer, sponsor of needed legislation pending in the Senate, in response to the poll. “No agent of the government should be able to seize an individual’s property without the Constitutionally protected right of due process and the legislation I’ve sponsored will ensure these rights are properly protected.”
Fixing the civil asset forfeiture process it will be a significant step toward making the criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more effective.
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