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  • Writer's pictureRoyce Nunley

SCOTUS just made it harder for a State to seize property from an individual convicted of a crime.

Good news! The Supreme Court of the United States held today that the Constitution's Eighth Amendment's protections against excessive fines imposed by the government applies equally to the States. State governments seem to have a bad habit of unreasonably taking a person's property after they have been convicted of a crime. Often times, even people that are acquitted of whatever crimes they are charged with find it difficult to get their property back once it has been seized by the cops.

In Timbs v. Indiana, the State of Indiana seized a Land Rover worth approximately $40,000 from an individual who plead guilty to dealing in a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit theft, the maximum financial penalty under Indiana law being $10,000. The Court held that the Constitution's Eighth Amendment does in fact apply to the States and that Indiana's seizure of a Land Rover worth $40,000 for a crime that provides for a maximum financial penalty of $10,000 violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against excessive fines.

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