“警察为盈利而执法”所导致的不公——以及如何结束它 Dick M. Carpenter II: The injustice of "policing for profit" -- and how to end it

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演员: Dick M. Carpenter II


台词
Picture yourself driving down the road tomorrow,
想象你明天沿着公路行驶,
heading somewhere to buy an item you found on Craigslist,
前去购买 Craigslist 上 淘到的好东西,
perhaps a nice mountain bike for 3,000 dollars.
那可能是一辆价值 3000 美元的 高级山地自行车。
At that price, it's probably one of those bikes
在这样高的价格下, 这可能是一辆
with a little electric motor on it --
有着一台小型电动马达的自行车——
(Laughter)
(笑声)
maybe some streamers from the handlebars.
可能车把手上还挂着流苏飘带。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
The seller has declared this a cash-only deal,
卖家声明,这次交易只能用现金,
so you have, in the console of your car, 3,000 dollars.
所以你在车上的操作台里 放着 3000 美元现金。
Suddenly, you are pulled over.
突然间,你被警察叫停到路边。
During the stop, the officer asks,
警官走上前来问道,
"Do you have any drugs, weapons or large amounts of cash in your car?"
“你车里有任何毒品、武器 或者大额现金吗?”
You truthfully answer, "Yes,"
你诚实地回答道,“是的,”
not to the drugs or to the weapons,
不是说是有毒品或者是有武器,
but to the cash.
而是说车里有现金。
In the blink of an eye, you are ordered out of your car.
转瞬间,你就被命令 从你的车里出来。
The officer searches it and finds your cash.
这位警官搜查了这辆车, 并且发现了你放的现金。
On the spot, he seizes it,
他当场就没收了它,
and he says he suspects it's part of a drug crime.
并且他声称他怀疑这些 现金与毒品犯罪有关。
A few days later,
几天以后,
the local district attorney files paperwork to keep your money --
当地检查官发布文件 要扣留你的钱——
permanently.
永久性地扣留。
And all of this happens
这一切都发生在
without you ever being charged or convicted of any crime.
你并没有被起诉,或者 没有被判定犯有任何罪状的情况下。
Now, you might be saying,
你可能会说,
"Ah, this would never happen in the United States."
“啊,这种情况永远 不会在美国发生。”
(Laughter)
(笑声)
Incidents like this occur every day in our country.
这类事情其实每天都会 在我们的国家发生。
It's one of the most significant threats to your property rights
这是对你财产权的最大威胁,
most people have never even heard of.
大多数人甚至都没听说这类事情。
It's called "civil forfeiture."
这种做法叫做 “民事没收(civil forfeiture)”。
Most of you are generally aware of criminal forfeiture,
你们中的大多数人通常 都知道“刑事没收”(criminal forfeiture),
although the term itself might be a little unfamiliar,
虽然你们可能对于这个 术语本身不太熟悉,
so let's begin with forfeiture.
所以让我们从“没收” 这个词开始讲起。
When we forfeit something, we give up that thing,
当我们被没收某样东西时, 我们是让出了那件东西,
or we're forced to give it up.
或者说我们是被迫 放弃了那件东西。
In criminal forfeiture,
在刑事没收中,
someone is charged and convicted of a crime,
有的人被指控并且被定罪,
and therefore, they have to give up property related to that crime.
因此,他们必须放弃与 此次犯罪有关的财产。
For example, suppose you use your car to transport and deal drugs.
比如说,假设你使用你的车去 运输和进行毒品交易。
You're caught and convicted;
你因此被抓住并被定罪;
now you have to give up or forfeit your car
这时你就不得不在判决过程中交出,
as part of the sentencing.
或者说让执法机关没收你的车。
That's criminal forfeiture.
这就是刑事没收。
But in civil forfeiture, no person is charged with a crime --
但是在民事没收中, 没人会被起诉任何罪行——
the property is charged and convicted of a crime.
而财产本身会被起诉并且被定罪。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
You heard that correctly:
你们没听错:
the government actually convicts an inanimate object with a crime.
政府真的可以给无生命的物品定罪。
It's as if that thing itself committed the crime.
这就好比物品自己 犯了罪一样。
That's why civil forfeiture cases have these really peculiar names,
这就是为什么民事没收案件 通常有一些非常奇怪的名字,
like, "The United States of America v. One 1990 Ford Thunderbird."
比如说,“美国起诉 1990 年产 福特雷鸟轿车”。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
Or "The State of Oklahoma v. 53,234 Dollars in Cash."
或者是“俄克拉荷马州起诉 53234 美元现金”。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
Or my personal favorite:
或者是我最爱的案件名:
"The United States of America v. One Solid Gold Object
“美国起诉
in the Form of a Rooster."
一尊公鸡形状的纯金雕塑”。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
Now, you're thinking:
你们应该在想:
How does something like this happen?
怎么会发生这种事?
That's exactly what I said when I first learned about civil forfeiture
我第一次了解到 民事没收时也是怎么说的,
while on a road trip with my wife.
当时我正和妻子在长途旅行的车上。
No, we did not get pulled over.
不过,我们并没有被叫停到路边。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
I was reading about the history of civil forfeiture
我当时正在读关于 民事没收的历史,
as part of my work as a research director at the law firm,
这是我作为法律公司 研究总监的一部分工作,
and I came across one of the cases I just mentioned,
然后我就看到了我刚才提到的 众多案例中的一件,
"The United States of America v. One 1990 Ford Thunderbird."
“美国起诉 1990 年产 福特雷鸟轿车”。
In that case, Carol Thomas loaned her car to her son.
这起案件中,卡罗尔 · 托马斯 (Carol Thomas)把她的车
While in the car, her son committed a minor drug crime.
贷款卖给了她的儿子,而她的儿子 在车里进行了一次轻微的毒品犯罪。
Carol didn't commit any crime,
卡罗尔没有犯任何罪,
so law enforcement couldn't convict her and take the car,
所以执法人员不能给她定罪 并没收这辆车,
but they could -- and did --
但是他们可以,并且也的确
use civil forfeiture to "convict the car" and take it.
使用民事没收给这辆车 “定罪”并没收了它。
Carol was completely innocent, but she lost her car nonetheless.
卡罗尔完全是无辜的, 但不管怎样,她还是失去了她的车。
In other words,
换句话说,
she was punished for a crime she did not commit.
她因她并没有犯下的罪行 而受到了惩罚。
When I read this, I was gobsmacked.
当我读到这儿时,简直目瞪口呆。
How could this occur?
这样的事情怎么可能发生呢?
How is this even legal?
这怎么能是合法的呢?
It turns out, it began in our country with maritime law.
原来,民事没收最早出现在 我国的海商法中。
Early in our republic, the government sought to fight piracy --
在建国初期,政府 致力于抗击海盗劫掠——
yes, actual pirates.
是的,是真正的海盗, 不是盗版行为。
The problem was the government often couldn't catch the pirates,
问题在于,政府经常无法抓到海盗,
so instead it used civil forfeiture to convict the pirates' property
取而代之的是,政府使用 民事没收给海盗的资产定罪,
and take it,
并且进行没收,
and therefore deny the pirates their illegal profits.
以此来收走海盗的不法资产。
Of course, the government could've simply taken and kept the booty
当然,政府本可以 不利用民事没收,
without necessarily using civil forfeiture,
而干脆直接收缴并保留这些赃物。
but doing so would have violated
但是这样做就会违反
our most basic due process and property rights.
我们最基本的正当法律程序 和财产所有权。
Now, the government rarely used civil forfeiture until the 1980s
直到 1980 年代,政府 都很少使用民事没收,
and the war on drugs.
接着禁毒战争就来了。
We expanded civil forfeiture law to cover drug crimes
我们把民事没收法扩充到了 毒品犯罪领域,
and then later, other types of crime.
后来又涵盖了其它 各种类型的犯罪。
Canada and the European Union adopted similar provisions
加拿大和欧盟也采取了类似的法规,
so that now all kinds of people are ensnared in the forfeiture web,
以至于现在各种各样的人 都陷入了民事没收的泥淖中,
people like Russ Caswell.
比如罗斯 · 卡斯韦尔(Russ Caswell)。
Russ Caswell owned a small budget motel in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
罗斯 · 卡斯韦尔在马萨诸塞州图克斯伯里 拥有一家小型的廉价汽车旅馆。
His father built the motel in 1955, and Russ took it over in the 1980s.
他的父亲在 1955 年建造了旅馆, 罗斯在 1980 年代接手了它。
During the years that Russ owned the motel,
在罗斯拥有旅馆的那些年里,
from time to time, people would rent rooms,
不时地,有人们会租用房间,
and they would commit drug crimes.
并在里面进行毒品犯罪。
Russ didn't condone the activities --
罗斯那时并没有纵容这些行为——
in fact, whenever he found out about it, he would immediately call police.
实际上,每次他发现这种事情时, 他都会立马报警。
Russ was entirely innocent of any crime,
罗斯与任何罪行都是 完全无关的。
but that did not stop the US Department of Justice from seizing his motel
但是这并没有阻止美国司法部 查封他的汽车旅馆,
simply because other people committed crimes there.
仅仅因为有其他人 在这里进行过犯罪。
But Russ's case was not alone.
但罗斯的例子并不是个例。
Between 1997 and 2016,
在 1997 到 2016 年间,
the US Department of Justice took more than 635,000 properties.
美国司法部没收了超过 63 万 5 千件财产。
This means each year,
这意味着每一年里,
tens of thousands of people lose their properties
就会有数万人在从没有被起诉 或者任何罪名的情况下,
in cases in which they're never charged or convicted of any crime.
失去他们的财产。
And we're not necessarily talking about major drug kingpins
我们讨论的并不是那些牵扯了 少则几百万,多则数十万美元案子的
or headline-grabbing financial fraudsters
大毒枭们,
whose cases involve hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.
或者那些极受关注的金融诈骗犯们。
Many of these seizures and forfeitures involve just everyday people
很多起查封和没收案件 涉及的仅仅是普通人,
like Russ Caswell
就好比罗斯 · 卡斯韦尔,
or you
或者你们,
or me.
或者我自己。
But it gets worse.
还有更糟糕的。
Are you wondering:
你们有没有感到疑惑:
Where does all this cash and property end up?
所有这些现金和财产 最后到哪里去了呢?
In most places, law enforcement keeps it.
在大多数地方, 这些财物由执法机关保管。
And they use it to buy equipment
他们使用这些东西去购买设备
or pay for building repairs
或者进行建筑维护,
or even pay salaries and overtime.
甚至用以支付工资和加班费。
This is a clear conflict of interest.
这种行为是很明显的利益冲突。
It creates a perverse profit incentive that can distort law enforcement.
这提供了一种会扭曲执法行为 的非正当利益激励。
And this is a problem that's not lost on those in law enforcement, either.
对于执法机关内部,在这件事情上 没有迷失的人来说,这也同样是个问题。
Former chief of police in Rochester, Minnesota, Roger Peterson,
明尼苏达州罗切斯特的前警察局长 罗杰 · 彼得森(Roger Peterson)
described the choice that police officers often face.
描述了警官时常会面临的选择。
As he described it:
在他的描述中:
suppose I'm a police officer,
假设我是一名警官,
and I see a drug deal.
我看到了一场毒品交易。
Now I face a choice:
那么现在我就面临一个抉择:
Do I go after the buyer and remove from the street illegal drugs,
我是追寻买家并且清除 街头的非法毒品呢,
or do I go after the seller
还是去追逐卖家,
and get cash for my agency to use?
以此为自己所在的部门谋利呢?
So it's easy to see why a police officer might go for the cash.
所以很容易就知道为什么警官 可能会选择去追查现金了。
It was just such a circumstance
正是这样的大环境
that compelled police officers in Philadelphia to seize an entire house.
迫使费城的警官查封了一整栋房屋。
In 2014, Chris and Markela Sourovelis' son sold 40 dollars worth of drugs
在 2014 年,克里斯(Chris)和 玛克拉 · 苏罗威利斯(Markela Sourovelis)
down the street from their house.
夫妇的儿子在他们居住的这条街上 出售了价值 40 美元的毒品。
Forty dollars.
就 40 美元。
The police watched the deal go down.
警察眼看着交易进行下去。
They could've arrested the buyer and confiscated the drugs,
他们本可以逮捕买家并且 没收所购的毒品,
but they didn't.
但是他们没有这么做。
They could've arrested the Sourovelises' son
他们本来可以当场在街上
right there on the street
逮捕苏罗威利斯夫妇的儿子,
and grabbed 40 dollars.
并取走这 40 美元。
But they didn't.
但是他们也没有。
They waited to arrest him at home,
他们等到他到家才开始抓捕,
because then they could seize their entire house.
因为这样他们就可以收缴 他们的整套房屋。
The house was worth 350,000 dollars.
这套房子价值 35 万美元。
That is what I mean by a perverse profit incentive.
就是我所说的不正当的利益激励。
But the Sourovelises' case was no outlier.
但苏罗威利斯夫妇的案例 并不是极端情况。
Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love,"
费城,被称为“友爱之城”、
the "Athens of America,"
“美洲大陆的雅典”、
the "Cradle of Liberty," birthplace to the Constitution,
“自由的摇篮”、宪法的诞生地、
home to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall,
自由钟和独立纪念馆的所在地、
the "City that Loves you Back" --
“爱你之市”——
(Laughter)
(笑声)
that Philadelphia was running a forfeiture machine.
我们所知的那个费城 正开动着一台“没收机器”。
Between 2002 and 2016,
在 2002 到 2016 年间,
Philadelphia took more than 77 million dollars through forfeiture,
费城通过没收获得了 超过 7700 万美元,
including 1,200 homes.
其中包括 1200 栋房屋。
Cars, jewelry, electronics -- all of it they sold,
汽车、珠宝、电子产品—— 他们把所有通过变卖所产生的收益
the proceeds they kept.
据为己有。
And they would have kept right on doing it,
而且他们会持续不断地这样做,
had it not been for a class-action lawsuit --
直到发生了一场集体诉讼——
our team's class-action lawsuit --
一场由我们团队提出的集体诉讼。
(Applause and cheers)
(掌声和欢呼)
Thank you.
谢谢。
We forced them to change their forfeiture practices
我们强制他们改变了 他们的没收行为
and to compensate victims.
并且去赔偿受害者。
(Applause and cheers)
(掌声和欢呼)
When our team first began researching forfeiture in 2007,
当我们的团队在 2007 年 首次研究民事没收时,
we had no idea how much forfeiture revenue there was.
我们完全不知道没收 所带来的收入能有多少。
In fact, no one knew.
事实上,当时没有任何人知道。
It wasn't until our groundbreaking study, "Policing for Profit,"
直到我们突破性的研究, “警察为盈利而执法”的出现,
that we found federal law enforcement agencies have taken in
我们发现联邦执法部门
almost 40 billion dollars --
自从 2001 年起已经没收了
billion with a B --
接近 400 亿美元——
since 2001,
单位是亿——
more than 80 percent of that through civil forfeiture.
其中超过 80% 的金额是 通过民事没收得到的。
Unfortunately, we have no idea
然而遗憾的是,我们完全不知道
how much state and local agencies have taken in,
州和地方机关没收了多少,
because in many states, they don't have to report it.
因为很多州无需上报这项数字。
So until we reform forfeiture,
所以直到我们对没收进行改革前,
we'll never know how much forfeiture activity actually occurs
我们都不会知道 美国到底发生了多少次
in the United States.
民事没收行为。
And we desperately need reform.
我们迫切地需要进行改革。
Legislatures should abolish civil forfeiture
立法机关应该废除民事没收,
and replace it with criminal forfeiture.
并且用刑事没收来替代它。
And all forfeiture proceeds should go to a neutral fund
所有的没收产生的收益都应该 放进市场中性基金里,
such as a general fund.
比如普通基金里。
When forfeiture proceeds stop hitting law enforcement budgets directly,
当执行没收的收益不再直接 影响执法部门的预算,
that is when we will end policing for profit.
警察为盈利而执法才能终结。
(Applause)
(掌声)
Now, as you can imagine,
那么很显然,
law enforcement officials don't love these recommendations.
执法人员不会欢迎这些建议。
(Laughter)
(笑声)
They stand to lose a lot of money,
他们面临失去大量的收入,
and they believe civil forfeiture is an effective crime-fighting tool.
而且他们相信民事没收是 打击犯罪的有效工具。
The trouble is,
但问题是,
it's not.
这种方法实际上收效甚微。
In June 2019, we released a study
在 2019 年 6 月,我们 发布了一项研究,
that found forfeiture does not improve crime-fighting.
表明没收行为并没有改善犯罪打击。
And the report also found
报告同时发现,
that law enforcement agencies pursue more forfeiture money
执法部门在经济衰退时
during economic downturns.
想要获取更多的没收收益。
So when city and county budgets are tight,
所以当市县的财政预算吃紧时,
law enforcement will use forfeiture to find the money.
执法机关就会通过实施 民事没收去赚钱。
So it's no wonder, then,
所以难怪,
that law enforcement officials predict a criminal apocalypse --
执法人员能够预测犯罪末日——
(Laughter)
(笑声)
if these reforms are adopted.
如果这些改革被推行的话。
But some states have already implemented them,
但有些州已经在实施这些变革了,
and we're pushing for reform all across the country,
并且我们正在全国范围内 推广这项改革,
because until we reform forfeiture,
因为在我们完全改变 民事没收制度之前,
this is something that could happen to any of us.
任何人都有可能受其影响。
It can happen in the United States,
民事没收可能发生在美国、
it can happen in the United Kingdom,
可能发生在英国、
it can happen in countries throughout the European Union
可能发生在欧盟的任何一个国家,
and beyond.
以及其他很多地方。
People like you and me and the Sourovelises and Russ Caswell,
像你、我、苏罗威利斯夫妇和 罗斯 · 卡斯韦尔这样
just doing the everyday stuff of life,
安分守己,遵纪守法的普通人,
can be caught in a scheme we never thought possible.
都有可能陷入到我们 从未预料过的计谋。
It is time we end policing for profit
是时候永久终结
once and for all.
警察为盈利而执法了。
Thank you.
谢谢。
(Applause and cheers)
(掌声和欢呼)