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Posted: June 11, 2013 4:14 p.m.

Deal: Georgia needs to examine forfeiture laws

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal says Georgia needs to examine changes to the state's civil forfeiture laws and called for more financial transparency.

Under state law, police and prosecutors can seize money and property from people suspected of committing crimes but who have not been convicted. Seizing property requires less proof of wrongdoing than criminal cases.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said Tuesday that the governor will direct the Criminal Justice Reform Council to study changes to the use of forfeited funds.

Robinson says the council will report back to Deal ahead of next year's legislative session. Robinson says the governor believes "it's obvious" the system requires more transparency.

The announcement came after prosecutors have acknowledged using forfeited funds to buy cars, sponsor softball teams and send staffers to the movies.

 
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