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Innocent until proved guilty

July 30, 2007

Re "Justices overturn local vehicle seizure laws," July 27

Kudos to the state Supreme Court for dumping Stockton's ordinance that allowed for the seizure and sale of a criminal suspect's property, even if the criminal defendant was never convicted of a crime.

In a chilling sign of the times, a dissenting opinion chastised the majority for supposedly forcing senior citizens to live in fear if the authorities were not given carte blanche to seize property from suspected drug dealers and prostitutes, even if they are never found guilty of a crime.

Notwithstanding tortured logic to the contrary, I strongly suspect the dissent in this case simply does not believe in one of our bedrock constitutional guarantees, i.e., protection from being deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Gifford Beaton

San Luis Obispo

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