The Hidden Cost of Asset Forfeiture in Criminal Cases

The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” While it is most commonly brought up in the context of the death penalty and the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, the Eighth Amendment is also hotly debated in criminal law, particularly when it comes to defining what constitutes “excessive” bail or fines. And nowhere is this more contested than in the area of asset forfeiture. Continue reading “The Hidden Cost of Asset Forfeiture in Criminal Cases”

The Expectation of Privacy

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution says that a citizen cannot be the subject of an unreasonable search or seizure without a warrant backed by probable cause. But in the Supreme Court case Katz v. U.S., the Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment applies only in cases where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” And it’s not always obvious when you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, at least by the court’s standards. Continue reading “The Expectation of Privacy”