Washington Law Review


David Osgood


Over the past several years, the Supreme Court taken a hard look at statutes that impose "quasi-criminal" sanctions such as "civil" punishment for criminal behavior. In several high profile cases, the Court has extended double jeopardy protection to defendants subjected to civil sanctions. By looking at the punitive intent behind "civil" sanctions, the Court has embroiled itself in the highly-charged debate surrounding civil drug forfeitures. This Comment examines the tension between the Court's emergent philosophy on double jeopardy and so-called "civil" sanctions, and its application in the Ninth Circuit case, United States v. $405,089.23, which the Court heard on April 17. This Comment concludes by arguing that $405,089.23 is the logical outgrowth of the Supreme Court's own decisions, and that despite the unsympathetic facts of the case, the underlying constitutional values compel its affirmation.

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