NYC police giving back seized cars

“The New York Police Department is trying to give back about 6,000 cars that were confiscated in the last five years or so from suspects in drunken driving and other criminal cases, city officials said yesterday.” The city’s practice of seizing vehicles in the absence of any finding of guilt — and sometimes notwithstanding actual acquittals of the drivers (see Jan. 31, 2000 and links from there) — fared badly before judges. Among those who deserve credit for correcting the abuses are federal judge Michael Mukasey, who handed down rulings chastising the city for its failure to observe due process, and Tom O’Brien, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society who filed the original challenge in 1999. (Susan Saulny, “City Police Giving Back Seized Cars”, New York Times, Mar. 9)(via Vice Squad)(more on forfeiture/seizure: Mar. 19-20, 2001; May 25, 2000; Jul. 21, 1999).

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