FIRST AIRED: February 20, 2019

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00:00:00
police around the country have in recent years become bolder about seizing cash property in vehicles in connection with drug bust in other crimes but now the U. S. Supreme Court is calling them out in a unanimous decision that could have far reaching implications the High Court has ruled that the constitution's eighth amendment ban on excessive fines applies not only to the federal government but to states and local communities as well , Wednesday's decision stems from the twenty fifteen seizure of the forty two thousand dollars Land Rover belonging to Indiana resident takes in tems after he pleaded guilty for selling almost four hundred dollars worth of heroin his vehicle acquired legally it was confiscated under Indiana's asset forfeiture law that allows police as in many other states to seize in keep property involved in a crime tends admitted to using the vehicle to deal drugs but he argued that seizing his vehicle amounted to an excessive fine since the state's maximum penalty for a single count of dealing drugs with ten thousand dollars Indiana Supreme Court ruled against him but the High Court took his site in her opinion justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg back on the court after recent bout with cancer wrote for good reason the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo American history exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties the case now returns to Indiana courts to decide on Tim's Land Rover which he may get back in legal experts say the ruling should help curb such actions in other states were studies show seizures amount to hundreds of millions of dollars a year