TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas lawmakers are opting not to act this year on questions raised by an audit critical of the state’s asset forfeiture laws. Instead, they are asking a judicial advisory group to review potential changes.
The audit released last summer concluded that law enforcement agencies take advantage of vague laws governing how they should report and use property seized from those suspected of crimes. Some departments use proceeds for what look like routine expenses, which can create an incentive for increased seizures, the audit said.
Law enforcement officials and prosecutors say the process helps them deter profitable crime, like drug trafficking. Some critics say the government shouldn’t seize property from those not convicted of crimes.