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33 San Diego L. Rev. 79 (1996)
Civil Forfeiture and the War on Drugs: Lessons from Economics and History

handle is hein.journals/sanlr33 and id is 91 raw text is: Civil Forfeiture and the War on Drugs:
Lessons from Economics and History
This Article uses economic analysis to show how
civilforfeiture creates perverse incentives for law enforce-
ment officials and encourages abuses. The Article then
surveys the history of civil forfeiture and the Supreme
Court' forfeiture jurisprudence. Finding the Court's
jurisprudence incoherent, the Article proposes a constitu-
tionalframework for civil forfeiture grounded in historical
practice. Adopting that framework would go far toward
reining in civil forfeiture ' abuses.
Congress and federal law enforcement officials have increasingly
employed civil forfeiture to combat the illegal drug trade.    The
Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (the
Drug Act) provides for the forfeiture of illegal narcotics and property
used in manufacturing and distributing drugs.' Since 1970, Congress
has added two noteworthy items to the Drug Act's list of forfeitable
property: (1) monies used in and proceeds from drug trafficking;2 and
*   Department of Legal Studies, Clemson University. M.A., New York
University; Ph.D., Auburn University; J.D., University of Virginia.
**   Bickel & Brewer, Washington, D.C. M.A., University of Chicago; J.D.,
University of Virginia.
The authors thank Karol Ceplo, Miguel Estrada, Randy Holcombe, Joan Larsen,
William Shughart, and Amy Wax for provocative discussion and comments on earlier
1. 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(4) (1994).
2. 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) (1994).

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