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Thread: Justices Approve Strip-Searches for Any Offense

  1. #1

    Default Justices Approve Strip-Searches for Any Offense

    This is just outrageous. Really, there is no hope.

    Justices Approve Strip-Searches for Any OffenseBy ADAM LIPTAK

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.
    About 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails, Justice Kennedy wrote.

    Under Monday’s ruling, he wrote, "every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed."

    Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said strip-searches were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so.

    The decision endorses a more recent trend, from appeals courts in Atlanta, San Francisco and Philadelphia, in allowing searches no matter how minor the charge. Some potential examples cited by dissenting judges in the lower courts and by Justice Breyer on Monday included violating a leash law, driving without a license and failing to pay child support.

    The Supreme Court case arose from the arrest of Albert W. Florence in New Jersey in 2005. Mr. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled his wife, April, over for speeding. A records search revealed an outstanding warrant based on an unpaid fine. (The information was wrong; the fine had been paid.)

    Mr. Florence was held for a week in jails in two counties, and he was strip-searched twice. There is some dispute about the details but general agreement that he was made to stand naked in front of a guard who required him to move intimate parts of his body. The guards did not touch him.

    “Turn around,” Mr. Florence, in an interview last year, recalled being told by jail officials. “Squat and cough. Spread your cheeks.”

    “I consider myself a man’s man,” said Mr. Florence, a finance executive for a car dealership. “Six-three. Big guy. It was humiliating. It made me feel less than a man.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/us...gewanted=print

    The federal courts of appeal were divided over whether blanket policies requiring jailhouse strip-

  2. #2

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    The Supreme Court case arose from the arrest of Albert W. Florence in New Jersey in 2005. Mr. Florence was in the passenger seat of his BMW when a state trooper pulled his wife, April, over for speeding. A records search revealed an outstanding warrant based on an unpaid fine. (The information was wrong; the fine had been paid.)
    I can see how normally law-abiding people would lose it & assault an officer at times like that. I don't condone it, but I could understand it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    This is just outrageous. Really, there is no hope.

    Add to that: this from today's NYTimes.... one really wonders WTF is going on...


    Britons Protest Government Eavesdropping Plans

    Excerpts:

    "British lawmakers and rights activists joined a chorus of protest Monday against plans by the government to give the intelligence and security services the ability to monitor the phone calls, e-mails, text messages and Internet use of every person in the country."

    "Under the proposal, reported in The Sunday Times of London, a law to be introduced this year would empower the authorities to order Internet companies to install hardware enabling the government’s monitoring agency, known by its initials, GCHQ, to examine individual communications without a warrant."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/wo...f=world&src=me

  4. #4
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Big bro, 2013.

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Strip search the SCOTUS. Then see what they say.

  6. #6

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    The scariest part of that article is this:

    "About 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails, Justice Kennedy wrote."

    That works out to be 1 in 24 Americans.

    1 in 24

  7. #7

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    The think about jails is that they mix all levels of criminals, and they never know what they're going to get. The issue is keeping contraband out of the jails, and it is legitimate. If your going to put someone in the jail, you have to make sure they're not bringing in anything. Also, what might be somewhat valuable on the street is immensely valuable in the jail. Especailly with gangs involved (who might set up someone to take a minor charge to bring something in), it's a necessary security measure.

    A bigger issue would be, why are they locking people up for such minor charges?

  8. #8
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    BBMW, you do not strip search a passenger in a car that was pulled over for a moving violation. You need probable cause to warrant a search, not staring at someone's anus because your paper pushers did not update the database on his paid warrant.

    Also, you need context! What was that fine for? Concealed weaponry or a parking ticket? Was he wearing ninja robes or a suit? Did he tell the cops to F' off or was he cooperative? All things matter in this. If you do NOT have it, you just have men with badges on power trips.

  9. #9

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    Maybe there needs to be a layer of due process before locking someone in the county jail. I don't know if that's practical. But short of that, how do you keep contraband out of the jails, if you can completely search everyone going in. It's not like stuff isn't getting through even now. It's a security issue and it makes sense to do it.

    Now maybe they should make a point of not locking people up for minor offenses. A lot of times this is the case (in NYC people being released with "disappearance" tickets, for example.) But what do you do when people start ignoring tickets and such given for those minor offenses?

  10. #10
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    You lok to see how those offenses would really effect te general public safety and how much money it would cost you to enforce it fully.

    The thing is, if they spend more money to enforce a rule whose only result is minor, then it might not be worth active enforcement.

    How many people do you see being GIVEN a ticket for things like Jaywalking or Butt-flikking? Although I would like to see littering summonses be issued, it is not worth my tax $$. Also, they tried a crusade against jaywalking and not only was it ill-received, it really did not curb it, and only caused more headaches at pedestrian gridlocked intersections in midtown.... So whatever....

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