Civil Forfeiture reporting makes its way to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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On Sunday, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featured an extensive segment on civil forfeiture, a large portion of it touching on the practices of the Philadelphia District Attorney I laid out in my reports for Philadelphia City Paper and Pro Publica describing the way the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office operates a civil forfeiture “machine” that raises millions of dollars by seizing cash, cars, and hundreds of houses over the years from people who have not been convicted, or often even charged, with a crime.

Citing some of the figures mentioned in a recent class-action lawsuit by the Institute for Justice against the Philly D.A., which itself cites many of our findings at City Paper, Oliver said: “These civil forfeiture laws have warped law enforcement priorities and perception and nowhere is that more clear than Philadelphia.”

Read more about my reporting on civil forfeiture here.

You can watch the full segment from Last Week Tonight here.