Yes, innocent people shouldn't be punished. It seems to me that taking money from someone who was acquited of a crime is like rubbing a salt in the wound. I don't see the logic behind this move. Is state of the Illinois in such a desperate need for money that it needs to employ this measures? Absurd!
The legal system of the United States is based on the premise that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The civil asset forfeiture of more than $319 million from Illinois citizens who are suspected of committing a crime, but not convicted of a crime is criminal behavior by the government.
I have actually followed a similar story in Iowa, where law enforcement officials seize large amounts of cash from people suspected of drug trafficking or other crimes. The money is then kept my the law enforcement agency, even when there are no convictions to merit the seizure of the money. One such example of this was a man and his friend who were traveling to Las Vegas. The man was a somewhat professional poker player, and had his money all in cash, He was stopped on the interstate, his money was confiscated, and he was never even charged with a criminal offense. The man never got his money back. This is unfair and certainly should not be allowed. If no crime is committed, the money needs to be returned.
Yes, this should be illegal because the justice system decides if someone is guilty or not. If the state decides they can take money from people who were not proven guilty, then the state is trying to make the final call. This is not how the US works, and the state should give the money back.