In what may well have been the most comprehensive hearing on civil asset forfeiture ever held, the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a day-long hearing on Tennessee’s forfeiture laws at the Nashville Public Library on Monday, July 24th. The hearing featured testimony from District Attorneys past and present, police officers, legislators, attorneys, scholars, local and national advocacy groups, individuals affected by Tennessee’s forfeiture laws, and others interested in the topic. Video footage of the Committee’s hearing is available at the links that follow:
Panelists: Glenn R. Funk (District Attorney, Nashville and Davidson County); D. Michael Dunavant (District Attorney, Tennessee’s 25th Judicial District, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee); Stephen D. Crump (District Attorney, Tennessee’s 10th Judicial District); Carlos Lara (Lieutenant, Metro Nashville Police Department)
Panelists: State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah); State Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville); State Representative William G. Lamberth (R-Cottontown); State Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville); State Representative Harold M. Love, Jr. (D-Nashville); State Representative G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis)
Panelists: Vikrant Reddy (Senior Research Fellow, Charles Koch Institute); Lee McGrath (Senior Legislative Counsel, Institute for Justice); Hedy Weinberg (Executive Director, ACLU of Tennessee); Julie Warren (State Director, Tennessee/Kentucky Right on Crime)
Panelists: George Frank Lannom (Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers); Joy Radice (Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law); John Morris Miles (Attorney, Union City); Ben Raybin (Attorney, Nashville); Kyle Mothershead (Attorney, Nashville); Elliot Ozment (Attorney, Nashville)
Panelists: Jackie Sims (Tennessee State Conference of the NAACP); Christopher M. Bellamy (President, Napier-Looby Bar Association); Samuel Lester (Street Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator, Open Table Nashville)
The hearing record will remain open for public comment until August 23, 2017. If you would like to submit comments for consideration, please email Jeff Hinton, Southern Regional Director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the conclusion of the public comment period, the Tennessee Advisory Committee will consider all commentary and prepare a final report and recommendation.
Selected press coverage of the hearing is available below.