The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether the Constitution bars prosecution of drug lords after civil courts seize money and property associated with their crimes.
Hundreds of prosecutions are endangered because criminals are winning federal appeals on double-jeopardy grounds, Solicitor General Drew S. Days III said in asking the court to settle the question.
Federal appeals courts in the 6th and 9th circuits found aspects of the civil and criminal processes unconstitutional, but earlier cases in the 1st and 11th circuits were decided for the government. Resolving such splits among circuits is a prime function for the high court.
Even the sternest anti-crime activists voice qualms …