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Supreme Court rules the Constitution's ban on excessive fines applies to the states

The Supreme Court is ruling unanimously that the Constitution's ban on excessive fines applies to the states, an outcome that could help efforts to rein in police seizure of property from criminal suspects.

Posted: Feb. 20, 2019 2:47 PM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2019 6:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is ruling unanimously that the Constitution's ban on excessive fines applies to the states, an outcome that could help efforts to rein in police seizure of property from criminal suspects. 

This could help an Indiana man recover the $40,000 Land Rover police seized when they arrested him for selling about $400 worth of heroin.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court's opinion in favor of Tyson Timbs, of Marion, Indiana. The ruling also limits the confiscation of property belonging to someone suspected of a crime. Police and prosecutors often keep the proceeds.

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