George Will’s recent column exposing flaws in Pennsylvania’s civil asset forfeiture law by using one attempted home seizure missed the mark. The law may need improvement, but Will took liberties with the “facts” to make his points. His closing salvo, which sought to tie this injustice to Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, defies belief.
Get the facts; report the facts; or spin the facts.
Will wrote that 22-year-old Yanni Sourovelis, who lived at home, “was arrested for selling a small amount of drugs away from home.”
Police State USA’s account, “The police report stated Yanni was in the bathroom when arrested. Officer Woertz ‘could hear the toilet running’ and proceeded to break down the bathroom door to dutifully enforce prohibition laws. He was accused of selling heroin from the family’s home.”
Yanni’s father and the homeowner lamented, “I didn’t know what Yanni was doing. I’m not with him 24-hours a day.”
The Wall Street Journal reported, “[Yanni] pleaded guilty and was sent to a ‘diversion’ program for first-time offender.”
The forfeiture law was enacted in 1988, passed under a Democratic governor.
Philadelphia, led by Democratic mayors since 1956, has used the law to punish drug dealers. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “Philadelphia has brought in more than $64 million in seized property [buildings, vehicles, and cash] during the last decade.”
All forfeiture proceeds go to law enforcement.
One might ask what role does President Barack Obama, the patron saint of wronged drug dealers, and his attorney generals, have in all this “injustice”?
Bill Malec, O’Fallon, IL