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In Timbs v. Indiana, after Tyson Timbs pled guilty to drug charges, the State of Indiana civilly forfeited his vehicle on the theory that he used the vehicle to transport drugs. A state trial court ruled that forfeiture of the $42,000 vehicle for the crime of selling less than $400 worth of drugs was “grossly disproportionate” to his wrongdoing and would violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause did not even apply to the states.
On November 28, 2018, the Supreme Court will hear argument on whether the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive fines applies to states, just as it has applied to the federal government since 1791.
Darpana Sheth, Senior Attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represents Tyson Timbs, and Director of IJ’s National Initiative to End Forfeiture Abuse, will discuss the oral arguments in this teleforum.
Darpana Sheth, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
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