Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hudak would focus on asset seizure as part of "tough on crime" policy

Back off Tim Moin Yahya posted an article that he wrote yesterday on the Supreme Court's horrendous decision in Chatterjee v. Ontario to allow asset seizure from those who are suspected of (not "charged with" or "convicted of") criminal activity.

Tim Hudak, who briefly redeemed himself to me last week with some good economic policy, has come out, guns blazing, in favour of this policy.

In fact, as part of his "tough on crime" policy package (which is otherwise fairly status-quo for a Conservative politician), he pledges to focus on asset seizure when dealing with grow-ops. From his website, Hudak says he would focus on:

  • Toughening laws and sentencing for violent crimes
  • Taking aggressive steps to stamp out grow ops in Ontario including a focus on asset seizure
  • Toughening prosecutorial and sentencing standards for organized crime
  • Increasing penalties for offenders caught in the act of defacing property

(emphasis mine.)

This is not some innocuous policy that only property rights "nuts" ought to be concerned with, nor is it something that can go wrong only in hypothetical cases. The fallout of allowing such property seizures in the United States has resulted in complete disregard for the law by some police officers - mostly warrants without probable cause - and extremely tragic cases such as the death of an innocent man in a raid that was motivated by a desire to seize his (impressive) assets and suicide by a woman who saw it as the only way to prevent asset seizure leading to homelessness and impoverishment.

Even if you are in favour of continuing the war on drugs, this complete disregard for property rights and the rule of law in Ontario should be wholeheartedly condemned by anyone who cares about either. It is extremely disappointing to see any serious Conservative politician (or anyone at all) endorsing this nonsense.

Cross posted to The Shotgun.

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