SUPREME COURT STRIKES A BLOW AGAINST EXCESSIVE FINES IN LANDMARK CASE

POSTED BY admin
September 17, 2019

The Supreme Court voted unanimously for criminal justice reform, placing limits on “policing for profit,” as it has rightly been called. This ruling prohibits all the states from imposing excessive fines on people convicted or even accused of a crime. In this case, Timbs v. Indiana, law enforcement took Mr. Timbs’ $42,000 truck when Timbs’ crime was only $400. This decision means that the 8th Amendment prohibition against excessive fines applies to the states as well as federally.

Tyson Timbs
Credit: Institute for Justice

As Institute for Justice lawyer Wesley Hottot said, “This case is about more than just a truck. This case is about whether 330 million Americans coast to coast enjoy the protections of the Bill of Rights.”

The DKT Liberty Project, joined by the Cato Institute and four other organizations, filed an amicus brief that said, in part:

“State and local governments have increasingly turned to forfeiture, fines, and fees as a means for raising revenue. This system creates perverse incentives because those who are charged with enforcing the law also have a profit motive for their enforcement. The effects of this system are felt most harshly by those who can least afford it.”

To learn more about the importance of this case, see this video from CBS News.