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Wed Feb 20, 2019, 11:22 AM

U.S. high court buttresses constitutional ban on 'excessive fines' [View all]

Last edited Wed Feb 20, 2019, 12:55 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a decision that may curb the rise of financial penalties and property seizures in the U.S. criminal justice system, the Supreme Court on Wednesday for the first time ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s ban on “excess fines” applies to states as well as the federal government.

The nine justices ruled unanimously in favor of an Indiana man named Tyson Timbs who argued that police violated his rights by seizing his $42,000 Land Rover vehicle after he was convicted as a heroin dealer.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, back on the bench for a second straight day after undergoing lung cancer surgery in December, wrote the court’s opinion, which clarified the applicability of the “excessive fines” prohibition contained in the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

“For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history. Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” Ginsburg said in court as she announced the ruling.

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SUPREME COURT FEBRUARY 20, 2019 / 10:11 AM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
Lawrence Hurley
4 MIN READ


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-fines/u-s-high-court-buttresses-constitutional-ban-on-excessive-fines-idUSKCN1Q91Z0



EDIT: article updated at link

Related: 17-1091 Timbs v. Indiana (Supreme Court of the United States)

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