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LAWMAKERS FACILITATE `LEGAL' THEFT

There is a continuing proliferation of laws that include confiscation of property without accusation of any crime, let alone a finding of guilt. The practice is spreading rapidly throughout the nations with state as well as federal laws giving this authority to police officers. (I have not heard to what extent, if any, this is being done in Utah.)

The New York Times reported that police in Now York are confiscating cars if the radio is played too loud. U.S.A. Today lists seizures every Wednesday. It listed 1,013 seizures in one week.If these cases go to courts they show up as The United States vs. 234 Skyline Boulevard. The owners of the property are not considered in any way as having a legal presence at the trials, and the property is confiscated without regard to the right to be secure in one's property.

Once upon a time we had a Constitution for the United States. It included protection against just such action. But this no longer applies. With a pretext of stopping major drug criminals, Congress has passed laws giving this authority and the states have followed suit. Included in many of the confiscation laws are provisions for the police departments to retain some 60 percent of the loot, prosecuting attorney's offices to retain some 20 percent, and court office to receive some 20 percent. This is "legal" theft.

Government officers are pretending not to understand why the American people mistrust their government. The Congress and the courts may not stop the plunder, but there is a divine court that all of us will have to face in due time. In the meantime, a revolution was fought over lesser offenses.

Robert W. English

Salt Lake City