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Supreme Court Upholds Jailhouse Stripsearch for Minor Offenses
Old 04-02-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
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Supreme Court Upholds Jailhouse Stripsearch for Minor Offenses

This is pretty scary to me. From the article...

"In this case, Albert Florence's nightmare began when the sport utility vehicle driven by his pregnant wife was pulled over for speeding. He was a passenger; his 4-year-old son was in the backseat.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the circumstances of the arrest were of little importance. Instead, Kennedy said, Florence's entry into the general jail population gave guards the authorization to force him to strip naked and expose his mouth, nose, ears and genitals to a visual search in case he was hiding anything."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/story/2012-04-02/supreme-court-strip-search/53945028/1
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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This is pretty scary to me. From the article...

"In this case, Albert Florence's nightmare began when the sport utility vehicle driven by his pregnant wife was pulled over for speeding. He was a passenger; his 4-year-old son was in the backseat.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the circumstances of the arrest were of little importance. Instead, Kennedy said, Florence's entry into the general jail population gave guards the authorization to force him to strip naked and expose his mouth, nose, ears and genitals to a visual search in case he was hiding anything."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washing...rch/53945028/1
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #3
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You guys sound nervous - got something to hide?
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Another 5-4 Supreme Court vote along the usual lines.

Oh, and a second decision today...

The court ruled unanimously that police investigators are immune from civil damage suits for giving false testimony to a grand jury. The justices said that witnesses who testify falsely can be prosecuted for perjury, and that the threat of such a criminal prosecution is an adequate safeguard. But critics pointed out that prosecutors rarely are willing to bring perjury charges against their own police investigators.

The authoritarian consolidation continues...
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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You guys sound nervous - got something to hide?
Not really. Just don't want to be one moment forgetting to buckle up, the next moment asked to cough in public.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Blood. Pressure. Going. Through. The. Roof. Where's. my. whiskey. bottle?
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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It sounds right to me. The constitution doesn't govern state jail house policies. States have the right to manage their jails how they see fit. If you have a problem with it, your issue ought to be with your state/county jail system to alter their search policies, not with the Supreme Court.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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Where's. my. whiskey. bottle?
If you get arrested the guys at the jail will help you find it...
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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"Blood. Pressure. Going. Through. The. Roof. Where's. my. whiskey. bottle?"

Why get stalled with the question? I'm considering a camelback for just that purpose <G>
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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It sounds right to me. The constitution doesn't govern state jail house policies. States have the right to manage their jails how they see fit. If you have a problem with it, your issue ought to be with your state/county jail system to alter their search policies, not with the Supreme Court.
Agreed. Plus, the system might be in place to protect people like this. Imagine the next guy they bring in sneaks in a weapon, and uses it against the guy caught for speeding (and held because they thought he had other open violations). Then the news would be "innocent man killed by fellow prisoner while held in County jail, charges were false, leaves widow and child behind".

Lose-lose situation.

-ERD50
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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Agreed. Plus, the system might be in place to protect people like this. Imagine the next guy they bring in sneaks in a weapon, and uses it against the guy caught for speeding (and held because they thought he had other open violations). Then the news would be "innocent man killed by fellow prisoner while held in County jail, charges were false, leaves widow and child behind".

Lose-lose situation.

-ERD50
Agreed that is one possible outcome. But to be devil's advocate imagine someone's son or daughter coming back home from college. In college, many kids do minor offenses (too much drinking here, not wearing seatbelts). On the way home, they get stopped, and arrested. The call to parents, goes like "For not wearing seat belts, I got strip searched."

I dunno, in some ways the ruling can seem like airline TSA procedures on steriods.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:12 PM   #12
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Agreed that is one possible outcome. But to be devil's advocate imagine someone's son or daughter coming back home from college. In college, many kids do minor offenses (too much drinking here, not wearing seatbelts). On the way home, they get stopped, and arrested. The call to parents, goes like "For not wearing seat belts, I got strip searched."

I dunno, in some ways the ruling can seem like airline TSA procedures on steriods.
Yes, I'm just throwing out a possible scenario. I've never worked LE, and I've never been in jail, so I don't know how these things are handled (I guess I left myself open with that line?).

I would hope that some discretion could be used, and people like this put into 'minimal risk' areas, but maybe that isn't always possible. It does seem extreme for these cases, but I guess the SC ruled on the point that this is a state/local issue and that since it takes place as part of incarceration, it doesn't violate Fed statutes.

-ERD50
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:19 PM   #13
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Perhaps the jails/states ought to implement their own policies that strip searches are only to be permitted where there is a reasonable belief that it is necessary.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #14
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Yes, I'm just throwing out a possible scenario. I've never worked LE, and I've never been in jail, so I don't know how these things are handled (I guess I left myself open with that line?).

I would hope that some discretion could be used, and people like this put into 'minimal risk' areas, but maybe that isn't always possible. It does seem extreme for these cases, but I guess the SC ruled on the point that this is a state/local issue and that since it takes place as part of incarceration, it doesn't violate Fed statutes.

-ERD50

From the news coverage I was watching today, some have separate areas and some do not. So I guess it's just a luck (or unluck) of the draw.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #15
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Perhaps the jails/states ought to implement their own policies that strip searches are only to be permitted where there is a reasonable belief that it is necessary.
+1. At least that way, the term "reasonable belief" offers some check and balance so the situation isn't all or none.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:45 PM   #16
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Agreed. Plus, the system might be in place to protect people like this. Imagine the next guy they bring in sneaks in a weapon, and uses it against the guy caught for speeding (and held because they thought he had other open violations). Then the news would be "innocent man killed by fellow prisoner while held in County jail, charges were false, leaves widow and child behind".

Lose-lose situation.

-ERD50
Good point. Actually, in order to make sure nothing like this happens we should put everyone in diapers (transparent so nobody can sneak in a shiv), implant GPS trackers and microphones, and require loyalty oaths before receiving the daily dose of pink slime.

It's not about safety, it's about freedom. Who cares what the media says about anything? The guy wasn't a repeat offender murderer, they incorrectly thought he had an outstanding speeding ticket warrant. Aaarrrggghhh! Whiskey!
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50

Yes, I'm just throwing out a possible scenario. I've never worked LE, and I've never been in jail, so I don't know how these things are handled (I guess I left myself open with that line?).

I would hope that some discretion could be used, and people like this put into 'minimal risk' areas, but maybe that isn't always possible. It does seem extreme for these cases, but I guess the SC ruled on the point that this is a state/local issue and that since it takes place as part of incarceration, it doesn't violate Fed statutes.

-ERD50
I have never been to jail, but my favorite weekend bedtime show is Lockout, which is basically a day in the life at various prisons and jails. They show the strip searches (blurred out the personal areas) and it looks like an assembly line at a factory. The people getting searched dont even bat an eye over it as most of them I assume know the procedure quite well.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:04 AM   #18
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The people getting searched don't even bat an eye over it as most of them I assume know the procedure quite well.
I won't pretend that a strip search couldn't be a traumatic thing for some people. As for me, I'd feel worse for the poor guy who has to poke around down there than I would about my own indignity.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:48 AM   #19
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This stood out for me:
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Florence ... had been stopped several times before, and he carried a letter to the effect that the fine ... had been paid.
How much less effort for the cops themselves would it have been to call in and check the veracity of that letter?
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:36 AM   #20
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This stood out for me:

"Florence ... had been stopped several times before, and he carried a letter to the effect that the fine ... had been paid."

How much less effort for the cops themselves would it have been to call in and check the veracity of that letter?
I agree, and followed by this also made me angry:

"The first strip search of Florence took place in the Burlington County Jail in southern New Jersey. Six days later, Florence had not received a hearing and remained in custody. Transferred to another county jail in Newark, he was strip-searched again.

The next day, a judge dismissed all charges. Florence's lawsuit soon followed.

He still may pursue other claims, including that he never should have been arrested."

It took SIX DAYS for him to get a hearing in which all the charges got dismissed? It scares me that this can happen to anyone. If the letter was good enough to be let go previously after being stopped, whywasn't it good enough this time?

Florence wasn't alleging any racial discrimination, but I wonder how he would have been treated had he been white.

I hope he sues and wins.
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