Sen. Kyle D. Loveless withdrew his request for an interim study of civil asset forfeiture in Oklahoma. The study was scheduled for September 1 at the Tulsa Police Academy. The location of the meeting quickly garnered criticism from the public, committee members and the media.
“I believe the topic of civil asset forfeiture is too important to be overshadowed by politics. I would prefer to hold an open and transparent discussion on civil asset forfeiture so both sides of the issue can go on the record to present their cases,” said Loveless, R-Oklahoma City.
“Our State Capitol is the seat of government and is located in the center of the state so we can perform our duties out in the open, not in a backroom away from the prying eyes of the public and media. Transparency, especially when discussing a major reform like this, is critical to finding the truth. I look forward to getting together with my colleagues to examine this issue and refocus on the concerns many Oklahomans have with our current civil asset forfeiture laws,” said Loveless.
Civil asset forfeiture has come under fire in recent years due to a lack of transparency and due process procedures. Currently, law enforcement must only suspect property is involved in the commission of a crime. Senate Bill 838 will require clear and convincing evidence that the property was involved – ensuring the individual is innocent until proven guilty.