Entries by Frank Knaack

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Alabama Appleseed Applauds Vote to End Civil Asset Forfeiture

Today the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance SB 213 (Senator Orr), which would end civil asset forfeiture in Alabama. “Civil asset forfeiture allows the government to take and keep your cash, your car, or your house – even if you are never charged with a crime,” said Frank Knaack, executive director of Alabama […]

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Challenging Alabama’s Racial Wealth Divide

by Frank Knaack, Executive Director The staggering racial disparities in Alabama’s criminal justice system mean people of color are more likely to incur criminal justice debt and face counterproductive hurdles to reentry. People of color are also far more likely to encounter predatory lenders, whose loan products can legally reach 456% APR. Together, these systems help drive […]

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Alabama Appleseed, SPLC Release New Report Documenting Widespread and Unjust Use of Civil Asset Forfeiture in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Courts in 14 Alabama counties awarded $2.2 million to law enforcement agencies through civil asset forfeiture actions filed in 2015 – and in a quarter of the 1,100 cases, law enforcement sought to keep property seized from people who were never even charged with a crime, according to a report released today […]

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Abused: How An Alabama County’s Over-The-Top Approach To Law Enforcement Nearly Ruined One Man’s Life

by Leah Nelson, Alabama Appleseed Researcher It was a “harebrained theory” from the start. That’s what a former Houston County assistant district attorney with knowledge of the case against James Vibbert says, anyway. “[B]ut we didn’t dismiss cases in the DA’s office when Doug Valeska was there. You weren’t allowed to, unless he wanted to […]