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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119572 Find in a Library
Title: Constitutionality of Attorney Fee Forfeiture Under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) and CCE (Continuing Criminal Enterprise Act)
Journal: John Marshall Law Review  Volume:22  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1988)  Pages:155-198
Author(s): J R Russell
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 44
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses forfeiture provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act and the Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) Act and then considers how these forfeiture provisions interfere with a defendant's Sixth Amendment rights.
Abstract: Amended versions of RICO and CCE clarify the types of assets subject to forfeiture. These versions include any interest, security, claim, or contractual right in any enterprise that violates either statute and in which the defendant is involved. RICO and CCE amendments state that all proceeds derived from an illegal enterprise are forfeitable, and they also provide for the title of forfeitable property to vest in the government at the time criminal activity begins rather than at the time of conviction. The Sixth Amendment guarantees all criminal defendants the right to counsel and the right to a fair trial, and there is concern that RICO and CCE forfeiture provisions may interfere with these rights. If applied literally, the language of RICO and CCE may hinder a defendant's ability to hire and retain an attorney, to establish an effective relationship with an attorney, and to receive a fair trial. The solution to these problems is to balance the important government interest in criminal forfeiture against Sixth Amendment rights. It is concluded that a defendant's Sixth Amendment rights will outweigh the government's interest in preventing the spread of organized crime, in most cases, and that forfeiture provisions of RICO and CCE should not apply to legitimate attorney fees. 306 references.
Main Term(s): Forfeiture law
Index Term(s): Continuing Criminal Enterprise Act; Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act; Right to counsel; Right to fair trial
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