When the framers crafted the United States Constitution, they did so with the intent of creating a government that secured—not abused—the rights of its people. The ultimate governing authority resided with the people, not their “rulers.”
As reported by IJ, a couple in Massachusetts has been fighting for three years to regain money they say was wrongfully seized from them in October of 2012.
While on their way to a medical appointment, state police pulled Adam and Jennifer Perry over for speeding as they drove through Henry County, Illinois on Interstate 80.
“A drug dog sniffed and indicated on the car. Officers then searched the vehicle and found $107,520 in cash in a suitcase and in Jennifer’s wallet.”
The Perrys claim the search was without their consent and without a legal warrant to search their vehicle or persons. The police claimed they found a duffel bag that smelled of marijuana, although no drugs were reported to have been found in the vehicle. Interestingly, no charges were ever filed against the couple.
They wrote in a letter to a federal prosecutor, “Our faith in the United States legal system has been shaken. Why are officer’s [sic] allowed to be judge, jury and executioner on the side of the road?”
IJ reported that the Perry case was anything but unique:
“An extensive investigation by The Washington Post into one federal forfeiture program found nearly 62,000 cash seizures since 9/11 where police did not use warrants or charge the owners with a crime. Out of those seizures, more than 1,700 were in Illinois alone.”
In 2014 alone, the value of assets confiscated by governments across the United States totaled over $3.5 billion, exceeding the amount of property stolen by thieves.
In the 1700s a government charged with serving its people, instead of serving its own interests, was a truly revolutionary innovation—and it seems it still is, today.
Many governments inside the United States are grossly violating the constitutional rights of citizens. Reforms need to come to the “criminal justice” system not only in Illinois, but nationwide.