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Texas police made more than $50 million in 2017 from seizing people’s property. Not everyone was guilty of a crime.

Law enforcement leaders say civil asset forfeiture is a necessary tool for fighting crime, but several lawmakers see it as a violation of Americans’ civil liberties. Texas legislators are poised to take up the issue once again in 2019.

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“A great threat” to property rights

Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville (center), along with colleagues Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin,  and Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, listen to testimony at Senate Health and Human Services Committee on April 5, 2017.  The committee is considering SB 602 which would potentially close up to five of 13 state support living centers in Texas.

Fuel for America’s revolution

State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, on the House floor on Jan. 11, 2017.

The fight for abolition

State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, gives closing arguments on House Bill 122, which would raise the age of criminal responsibility in Texas from 17 to 18. The House passed the bill 92-52 on April 20, 2017.

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Criminal justice State government Joan Huffman Konni Burton Texas Senate