107 Iowa L. Rev. 787 (2022)
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Asset forfeiture is a key tool to combat criminal activity. As a result of federalism, forfeiture law in the United States proceeds independently through two regimes—one at the state level and another at the federal level. State forfeiture is especially salient because ordinary citizens most often interact with state law enforcement officials. As the national dialogue about police funding continues, it is important to obtain a more complete understanding of the role asset forfeiture plays in financing state law enforcement agencies, such as police precincts, sheriffs’ offices, county prosecutors, and the Iowa Department of Justice. This Note argues that Iowa’s recent attempt to reform its asset forfeiture law was insufficient. This Note also outlines the context surrounding and leading up to that reform, identifies civil in personam forfeitures and perverse profit incentives as the two primary problems in Iowa’s recently reformed asset forfeiture statute, and supplies five normative recommendations for improving Iowa’s asset forfeiture laws.

Saturday, January 15, 2022