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Almost all the provisions of the Bill of Rights have been applied by the Supreme Court to the states as well as the federal government, but the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment had not. Timbs presents this question to the Court—whether the Bill of Rights constrains state governments from imposing excessive fines—but also begins to address the question of whether civil forfeitures may violate this prohibition. The practice of seizing cars, houses, or boats that have been used in illegal activity has become a controversial policing practice. Timbs begins to address the constitutionality of this question that affects many Americans.
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Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 (1833).
McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742 (2010).
See Dick Carpenter, Lisa Knepper, and Jennifer McDonald, Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture, 2nd Edition.
See Jefferson E. Holcomb, Marian R. Williams, William D. Hicks, Tomislav V. Kovandzic, and Michele Bisaccia Meitl, “Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws and Equitable Sharing Activity by the Police,” 17 Criminology & Public Policy 101 (2018).
Carpenter, Knepper, and McDonald, Policing for Profit. See also Kathleen Baicker and Mirielle Jacobsen, “Finders Keepers: Forfeiture Laws, Policing Incentives, and Local Budgets”.
U.S. v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321 (1998).
See Beth Colgan, “The Excessive Fines Clause: Challenging the Modern Debtor’s Prison,” 65 UCLA Law Review 2 (2018).
461 U.S. 660 (1983) at 661.
See Shaila Dewan, “Court Conundrum: Offenders Who Can’t Pay, or Won’t,” The New York Times, 26 September 2015.
See Scott Bullock and Nick Sibilla, “The Supreme Court Resuscitates the Eighth Amendment: The Justices Strike a Blow Against Policing for Profit,” The Atlantic, 13 March 2019.
See McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010).
509 U.S. 602 (1993).
Timbs Thomas concurrence, page 3.
See Kris Fernandez, “ Timbs v. Indiana: The Constitutionality of Civil Forfeiture When Used by the States,” 14 Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy 1 (2019).
509 U.S. 602 (1993) at 602–603.
524 U.S. 321 (1998) at 321.
Ibid., at 338.
See David Pimentel, “Forfeitures and the Eighth Amendment: A Practical Approach to the Excessive Fines Clause as a Check on Government Seizures,” 11 Harvard Law & Policy Review 541 (2017).
- Timbs v. Indiana on Excessive Fines and Civil Forfeitures
Marian R. Williams
- Chapter 12
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