Maricopa County Paul Petersen’s ex-wife asks lawmakers to change law that let authorities seize her homes

Raquel Petersen testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on May 20, 2020. /Photo: AZ Capitol TV

By Jessica Boehm and Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic 

Criminal justice reform advocates are pushing state legislation that would make it more difficult for government agencies to seize someone’s assets before they are convicted of a crime.

State law currently allows law enforcement and prosecutors to seize someone’s house, vehicles and other assets before they are convicted. Prosecutors argue this is necessary to ensure criminals do not sell off or hide assets that could be used to pay restitution if they are convicted. 

But reform advocates say seizing someone’s assets before they are found guilty violates people’s rights and limits their financial ability to defend themselves. 

Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, is sponsoring a bill that would clamp down on pre-conviction seizures.


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