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Leach's anti-forfeiture tweet: Right stance, wrong approach

| Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Mocking due process and the Fourth Amendment, civil asset forfeiture is a repulsive blight on America's justice system. But intelligent efforts to end it aren't helped by the scurrilous social media approach taken by ultra-liberal state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery County.

Under what amounts to “legal” thievery, law enforcers seize cash, cars, houses, computers and other property from people who haven't been convicted of anything . And opposition to it is a rare point of agreement across the political divide, which makes Mr. Leach's crude Twitter tirade particularly regrettable.

Reacting to President Trump reportedly threatening to “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who opposes civil asset forfeiture, fellow opponent Leach sent a tweet calling the president a “fascist, loofa-faced, (expletive)-gibbon!” He justified that vulgarity by citing “the world we live in” and the need “to fight with everything we have.”

But by sinking to the same regrettably imbecilic level as too much political discourse today, Leach did civil asset forfeiture's opponents no favor.

Nor is there any need to resort to name-calling to make the case against asset thievery. Forcing its targets to prove their innocence, it perverts presumption of innocence, a bedrock principle of U.S. justice — and it's ripe for corrupt, pocket-lining abuse.

That's what opponents such as Leach should be tweeting — not barnyard personal insults that detract from their admirable argument.

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