Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest

Party Rooster

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Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest

By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: April 2, 2012

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.

“Every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,” Justice Kennedy wrote, adding that about 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails.

The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures.

The federal appeals courts had been split on the question, though most of them prohibited strip-searches unless they were based on a reasonable suspicion that contraband was present. The Supreme Court did not say that strip-searches of every new arrestee were required; it ruled, rather, that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches did not forbid them.

Daron Hall, the president of the American Correctional Association and sheriff of Davidson County, Tenn., said the association welcomed the flexibility offered by the decision. The association’s current standards discourage blanket strip-search policies.

Monday’s sharply divided decision came from a court whose ideological differences are under intense scrutiny after last week’s arguments on President Obama’s health care law. The ruling came less than two weeks after a pair of major 5-to-4 decisions on the right to counsel in plea negotiations, though there Justice Kennedy had joined the court’s liberal wing. The majority and dissenting opinions on Monday agreed that the search procedures the decision allowed — close visual inspection by a guard while naked — were more intrusive than being observed while showering, but did not involve bodily contact.

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

Justice Breyer said that the Fourth Amendment should be understood to bar strip-searches of people arrested for minor offenses not involving drugs or violence, unless officials had a reasonable suspicion that they were carrying contraband.

Monday’s decision endorsed a recent trend, from appeals courts in Atlanta, San Francisco and Philadelphia, allowing strip-searches of everyone admitted to a jail’s general population. At least seven other appeals courts, on the other hand, had ruled that such searches were proper only if there was a reasonable suspicion that the arrested person had contraband.

According to opinions in the lower courts, people may be strip-searched after arrests for violating a leash law, driving without a license and failing to pay child support. Citing examples from briefs submitted to the Supreme Court, Justice Breyer wrote that people have been subjected to “the humiliation of a visual strip-search” after being arrested for driving with a noisy muffler, failing to use a turn signal and riding a bicycle without an audible bell.

A nun was strip-searched, he wrote, after an arrest for trespassing during an antiwar demonstration.

Justice Kennedy responded that “people detained for minor offenses can turn out to be the most devious and dangerous criminals.” He noted that Timothy McVeigh, later put to death for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was first arrested for driving without a license plate. “One of the terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks was stopped and ticketed for speeding just two days before hijacking Flight 93,” Justice Kennedy added.

The case decided Monday, Florence v. County of Burlington, No. 10-945, 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 for Mr. Florence’s arrest based on an unpaid fine. (The information was wrong; the fine had been paid.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/us/justices-approve-strip-searches-for-any-offense.html
 

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
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#2
What the fuck happened to probable cause?
 

Motor Head

HIGHWAY TRASH REMOVAL
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#3
This is for strip searches for people being detained in a jail or prison. If you get arrested and end up being booked into the jail (can't make bail, no bail, etc.) the guards have a right to strip search you. Just behave, pay your fines and you won't have to worry about a strip search, lifting your nuts and doing the bend and cough.

Where I used to work we didn't do it for the usual drunks that needed to sleep it off or DUI suspects waiting to be bailed out or for court in the morning. Only prisoners that would go into the main cell (general population) had to be searched. We never put a drunk in GP, because it's against the law. Now if a DUI suspect goes to court and has a high bail set, and he can't make bail - he will be going into GP and will be strip searched. Trust me, when I worked for a rural county the last thing you wanted to do was a complete strip search. Though one guy that worked full time corrections seemed to enjoy it.
 

Party Rooster

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#4
Though one guy that worked full time corrections seemed to enjoy it.
That's the point. Just because some guy enjoys it doesn't give him the right.

I get the whole "don't fuck up and you got nothing to worry about" thing you're saying, but sometimes bad things happen to good people. I just hope I don't someday end up shooting some Skittle eater in the wrong jurisdiction (or slow news month) and end up having to submit to one of these. Sure, it's not the worse thing that can happen but it still wouldn't be pleasant to have to go through with it.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#5
i have to side with the po po on this one, if your going to jail then you are now a ward of the state, it is there responsibility to make sure that the other wards are safe, along with the staff, whats to say that your not a nut and always walk around with a shiv stuffed in your corn hole? or a bag of dope? or you have some kind of gang tats or one of your buddies got locked up and wants something, ive seen people get locked up for the dumbest shit, just to beat the hell out of someone.
 

Motor Head

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#6
i have to side with the po po on this one, if your going to jail then you are now a ward of the state, it is there responsibility to make sure that the other wards are safe, along with the staff, whats to say that your not a nut and always walk around with a shiv stuffed in your corn hole? or a bag of dope? or you have some kind of gang tats or one of your buddies got locked up and wants something, ive seen people get locked up for the dumbest shit, just to beat the hell out of someone.
Pretty much this. For the safety of the general population, everybody gets searched. Yes it does suck when somebody is brought in on a glitch, or mistaken identity. I know a guy that spent 12 days at county because he lost his wallet on vacation in Texas and somebody used his ID to rent a $100K piece of heavy equipment and never brought it back. He mentioned the strip search several times. He'll never lose his wallet again.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,677
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#7
besides if some dick with a badge wants to finger my nasty bung hole more power to him, hell i might work up a fart just to piss him off. im such an asshole i might even say "are you going to kiss me first" before they make me squat and cough
 

whiskeyguy

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#8
I kinda side with the correctional officers on this one. It's not a search of everyone suspected of something, just those that the officers have enough probable cause to detain you in jail. I've been held overnight twice in my life, and the officers didn't strip search me because I wasn't going into general population. They have a "lobby" where you just sit and watch TV until 6 AM when they can let you out. However I would have understood them doing so if I had to go into general population.

Should be left up to the discretion of the individual jails.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
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#9
There are two issues here:
1. Is it right to strip search everyone?
2. Is it the Supreme Court's job to decide when it is right and when it isn't to strip search someone?

The answer to 1. is obvious. The answer to 2. is not.

It's not just an administrative issue, it concerns an extra invasion of privacy, beyond just the arrest. Just as we don't just let cops or individual departments decide the reasons they arrest people, there should be a clear, objective policy on which specific reasons warrant a strip search in jail.

So it should definitely not be up to jail administrators, there should protections in place that protect us from unwarranted strip searches. Whether it's SCOTUS that could do that, I don't know. I don't know enough about how the jail system works.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
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Aug 26, 2002
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#10
This isn't about Otis being tossed in Andy's lock up for being drunk again.

If someone is being admitted to a full blown prison and not being isolated
right from the start then they should be searched thoroughly before being
put into gen pop. There are major safety and security concerns in not doing so.
 
Aug 11, 2005
27,637
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#11
First they want the right to stick a needle in your arm and now this?

Your rights are fading away all in the name of safety you fools
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#12
First they want the right to stick a needle in your arm and now this?

Your rights are fading away all in the name of safety you fools

Can someone translate that into sober?
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#13
I get the whole "don't fuck up and you got nothing to worry about" thing you're saying, but sometimes bad things happen to good people. I just hope I don't someday end up shooting some Skittle eater in the wrong jurisdiction (or slow news month) and end up having to submit to one of these. Sure, it's not the worse thing that can happen but it still wouldn't be pleasant to have to go through with it.
I see what you're saying...I don't think a strip search is necessary if you're being held overnight for DWI or something more minor. But then again, I want the cops to have the option to conduct one on anyone being detained should they have reason to believe someone may be carrying something. And that's partly for the safety of the other people in the cell, which could be you or me if we end up shooting a black man in self-defense (wait no, we're both white, that wouldn't happen :icon_cool). But then again, you may encounter an officer that does "enjoy doing it" to just anyone and everyone. And that too is not right.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#14
Remember this guy...

Cops: Jailed Man Smuggled Gun In Rectum



Michael Leon Ward





Corrections officials in Onslow County, Ga., said they think they have solved the mystery of how a man managed to smuggle a .38-caliber handgun into his jail cell: He used his rectum.

According to a news release, the Onslow County Sheriff's Office said the 10-inch-long weapon was found in the jail cell of Michael Leon Ward, following his arrest a day before on drug-related charges during a traffic stop.

Investigators said Ward was also a wanted fugitive on a murder warrant out of Atlanta.

Corrections officials told MSNBC that Ward did undergo a strip search during his booking, but that nothing turned up.

Authorities said the handgun was discovered in the jail cell toilet after Ward told corrections staff that he found the weapon in his cell. Deputies said the gun was test fired and found to be operational.
Link
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
2,857
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#16
Deputies said the gun was test fired and found to be operational.
Lab guy: Yeah, the gun works fine after we scraped some shit from behind the trigger.
So, how did the guy get it into the jail?

Warden: We still can't figure that out.
 

DJ Evel Ed

MayYourCumCrustedCocksBeConstantlyCoveredInCunt
Nov 30, 2003
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Up your ass!
#20
In a five-four ruling this week, the supreme court decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offense, however minor, at any time. This horror show ruling joins two recent horror show laws: the NDAA, which lets anyone be arrested forever at any time, and HR 347, the "trespass bill", which gives you a 10-year sentence for protesting anywhere near someone with secret service protection. These criminalizations of being human follow, of course, the mini-uprising of the Occupy movement.

Is American strip-searching benign? The man who had brought the initial suit, Albert Florence, described having been told to "turn around. Squat and cough. Spread your cheeks." He said he felt humiliated: "It made me feel like less of a man."

In surreal reasoning, justice Anthony Kennedy explained that this ruling is necessary because the 9/11 bomber could have been stopped for speeding. How would strip searching him have prevented the attack? Did justice Kennedy imagine that plans to blow up the twin towers had been concealed in a body cavity? In still more bizarre non-logic, his and the other justices' decision rests on concerns about weapons and contraband in prison systems. But people under arrest – that is, who are not yet convicted – haven't been introduced into a prison population.

Our surveillance state shown considerable determination to intrude on citizens sexually. There's the sexual abuse of prisoners at Bagram – der Spiegel reports that "former inmates report incidents of … various forms of sexual humiliation. In some cases, an interrogator would place his penis along the face of the detainee while he was being questioned. Other inmates were ræped with sticks or threatened with anal sex". There was the stripping of Bradley Manning is solitary confinement. And there's the policy set up after the story of the "underwear bomber" to grope US travelers genitally or else force them to go through a machine – made by a company, Rapiscan, owned by terror profiteer and former DHA czar Michael Chertoff – with images so vivid that it has been called the "pornoscanner".

Believe me: you don't want the state having the power to strip your clothes off. History shows that the use of forced nudity by a state that is descending into fascism is powerfully effective in controlling and subduing populations.

The political use of forced nudity by anti-democratic regimes is long established. Forcing people to undress is the first step in breaking down their sense of individuality and dignity and reinforcing their powerlessness. Enslaved women were sold naked on the blocks in the American south, and adolescent male slaves served young white ladies at table in the south, while they themselves were naked: their invisible humiliation was a trope for their emasculation. Jewish prisoners herded into concentration camps were stripped of clothing and photographed naked, as iconic images of that Holocaust reiterated.

One of the most terrifying moments for me when I visited Guantanamo prison in 2009 was seeing the way the architecture of the building positioned glass-fronted shower cubicles facing intentionally right into the central atrium – where young female guards stood watch over the forced nakedness of Muslim prisoners, who had no way to conceal themselves. Laws and rulings such as this are clearly designed to bring the conditions of Guantanamo, and abusive detention, home.

I have watched male police and TSA members standing by side by side salaciously observing women as they have been "patted down" in airports. I have experienced the weirdly phrased, sexually perverse intrusiveness of the state during an airport "pat-down", which is always phrased in the words of a steamy paperback ("do you have any sensitive areas? … I will use the back of my hands under your breasts …"). One of my Facebook commentators suggested, I think plausibly, that more women are about to be found liable for arrest for petty reasons (scarily enough, the TSA is advertising for more female officers).

I interviewed the equivalent of TSA workers in Britain and found that the genital groping that is obligatory in the US is illegal in Britain. I believe that the genital groping policy in America, too, is designed to psychologically habituate US citizens to a condition in which they are demeaned and sexually intruded upon by the state – at any moment.

The most terrifying phrase of all in the decision is justice Kennedy's striking use of the term "detainees" for "United States citizens under arrest". Some members of Occupy who were arrested in Los Angeles also reported having been referred to by police as such. Justice Kennedy's new use of what looks like a deliberate activation of that phrase is illuminating.

Ten years of association have given "detainee" the synonymous meaning in America as those to whom no rights apply – especially in prison. It has been long in use in America, habituating us to link it with a condition in which random Muslims far away may be stripped by the American state of any rights. Now the term – with its associations of "those to whom anything may be done" – is being deployed systematically in the direction of … any old American citizen.

Where are we headed? Why? These recent laws criminalizing protest, and giving local police – who, recall, are now infused with DHS money, military hardware and personnel – powers to terrify and traumatise people who have not gone through due process or trial, are being set up to work in concert with a see-all-all-the-time surveillance state. A facility is being set up in Utah by the NSA to monitor everything all the time: James Bamford wrote in Wired magazine that the new facility in Bluffdale, Utah, is being built, where the NSA will look at billions of emails, texts and phone calls. Similar legislation is being pushed forward in the UK.

With that Big Brother eye in place, working alongside these strip-search laws, – between the all-seeing data-mining technology and the terrifying police powers to sexually abuse and humiliate you at will – no one will need a formal coup to have a cowed and compliant citizenry. If you say anything controversial online or on the phone, will you face arrest and sexual humiliation?

Remember, you don't need to have done anything wrong to be arrested in America any longer. You can be arrested for walking your dog without a leash. The man who was forced to spread his buttocks was stopped for a driving infraction. I was told by an NYPD sergeant that "safety" issues allow the NYPD to make arrests at will. So nothing prevents thousands of Occupy protesters – if there will be any left after these laws start to bite – from being rounded up and stripped naked under intimidating conditions.

Why is this happening? I used to think the push was just led by those who profited from endless war and surveillance – but now I see the struggle as larger. As one internet advocate said to me: "There is a race against time: they realise the internet is a tool of empowerment that will work against their interests, and they need to race to turn it into a tool of control."

As Chris Hedges wrote in his riveting account of the NDAA: "There are now 1,271 government agencies and 1,931 private companies that work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States, the Washington Post reported in a 2010 series by Dana Priest and William M Arken. There are 854,000 people with top-secret security clearances, the reporters wrote, and in Washington, DC, and the surrounding area 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2011."

This enormous new sector of the economy has a multi-billion-dollar vested interest in setting up a system to surveil, physically intimidate and prey upon the rest of American society.

Now they can do so by threatening to demean you sexually – a potent tool in the hands of any bully.

Naomi Wolf
guardian.co.uk


[whisper]"do you have any sensitive areas? … I will use the back of my hands under your breasts …" [/whisper]
 

KRSOne

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
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#22
In a five-four ruling this week, the supreme court decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offense, however minor, at any time. This horror show ruling joins two recent horror show laws: the NDAA, which lets anyone be arrested forever at any time, and HR 347, the "trespass bill", which gives you a 10-year sentence for protesting anywhere near someone with secret service protection. These criminalizations of being human follow, of course, the mini-uprising of the Occupy movement.
Stpp being a CT, none of that is happening, its all in your head.
 

Josh_R

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Jan 29, 2005
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#23
As much as I hate big government etc. I understand this ruling. A police officer has no means of determining who may or may not be a threat when admitted to the general population of a jail or prison. Just because a person is arrested for jay-walking, doesn't mean they couldn't possibly be hiding a razor under their balls or a bag of crack in their asshole. Hell, gang members could, if there were no strip searches, get themselves arrested for piddly shit just to smuggle things into the jail for other inmates. The problem is not that people are being strip searched for minor crimes, it is the number of minor crimes for which one can be arrested. No one would complain if a murderer was strip searched before being admitted, but people are all outraged because a guy with a speeding ticket can get the same treatment. If we limited the government to only arresting people for "real" crimes, there would be no issue. This is case number 10903948938 of misplaced anger.
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
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#24
I agree with this ruling.

If you are going into genpop, you need to be searched.

Otherwise, they will just start having their buddy's get locked up for non-searchable shit so they can smuggle drugs in.

Once you are in prison you don't have your rights as far as I am concerned.

Now, on the other hand, I also think we need to end the "war on drugs" so that we don't have so many people in the stupid prison system.