Civil Forfeiture Hurts America’s Poor

In 2014, Tyson Timbs sold $400 worth of drugs to undercover police in an effort to support his addiction. Tyson, a first-time offender, was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation and ordered to pay more than $1,200 in fines and fees. After Tyson paid his debt to society and got clean, the state of Indiana tried to further punish him by seizing his SUV. But in February, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines applied to the states, opening the door for Tyson to try to get his SUV back by arguing its taking is an excessive fine.

Suggested citation: McDonald, J. (2019). Civil forfeiture hurts America’s poor. Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity.

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