SCOTUS Allows Jail Strip Searches for Any Reason

marincounty

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2005
3,227
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Go to jail, get strip searched.

This may soon be the new norm as jails begin to implement the U.S. Supreme Court's Monday ruling in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington. The Court has ruled that jail strip searches are legal -- even when an individual has been arrested for a minor traffic offense or failing to pay a fine.

The 5-4 ruling found that a suspect's Fourth Amendment privacy rights are outweighed by jailhouse security concerns.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/tagblogsfindlawcom2012-decided-idUS135777294320120403

Even a low-level offender could be carrying a weapon.

The dissent, written on behalf of the four liberal justices, disagreed with this assertion. They believe that jail strip searches are legal only when officers have reasonable suspicion. Jail strip searches are "inherently harmful, humiliating and degrading." This harm is "particularly acute where the person ... had simply received a traffic ticket ... or because she had been arrested for a minor trespass."

So right leaning judges don't believe in any right to privacy or apparently any right to decency? This is a horrible decision, I suggest full body cavity searches for all Supreme Court Justices when they enter a Federal building, after all, they could be concealing a weapon.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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It is pretty ridiculous to me that were someone to be taken in to jail for violating a dog leash law or failing to pay child support, that a strip search would be considered 'reasonable'.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
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I disagree with this ruling 100%, I don't see how anyone could think it "reasonable" to strip search someone accused of a minor infraction, especially when they haven't even been shown to have committed any infraction, just a mere accusation (arrest) is fine.

I hope the federal/state legislative bodies fix this, but I won't hold my breath waiting for that group of incompetents to do anything useful.
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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Innocent until proven guilty seem to no longer apply because you can hardly be called innocent after a full cavity strip search. What a fail.
 

marincounty

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2005
3,227
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Did you notice that ALL of the right leaning judges thought this was OK?
I won't hold my breath waiting for a right wing politician to introduce laws to fix this.
This is why it is so important to re-elect Obama. Republicans insist upon appointing the worst judges imaginable.
 

sactoking

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2007
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All it takes is one crazy person accused of public urination to shank someone else in a holding cell for the police to be on the hook for millions of dollars and the resultant public outcry for them not searching a "low-level" accused.
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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All it takes is one crazy person accused of public urination to shank someone else in a holding cell for the police to be on the hook for millions of dollars and the resultant public outcry for them not searching a "low-level" accused.

Frisking or doing a pat down seem reasonable but this allows the police to go way, way beyond that.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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All it takes is one crazy person accused of public urination to shank someone else in a holding cell for the police to be on the hook for millions of dollars and the resultant public outcry for them not searching a "low-level" accused.

Uhmm, why would they stop searching people? This is about strip searches, not searches in general.

I think the police departments of the United States are relatively safe in not checking for the public urinator who happens to be wandering the city streets with a knife stuck up his ass.
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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People don't really hide things in their pockets when attempting to smuggle them into jail.. :whiste:

And jaywalkers don't normally pull an anal Han Solo. If they are a dangerous or repeat offender, more caution should be taken but this applies to everyone.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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People don't really hide things in their pockets when attempting to smuggle them into jail.. :whiste:

This is in reference to taking someone to jail immediately after arresting them on the street. How many people just stroll around town with things inserted in various body cavities on the off chance that they will be arrested that night?
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,946
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People don't really hide things in their pockets when attempting to smuggle them into jail.. :whiste:

So do you typically carry a shank shoved up your ass just in case you get arrested for a minor traffic infraction or forgetting to pay a fine?
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
33,425
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This is in reference to taking someone to jail immediately after arresting them on the street. How many people just stroll around town with things inserted in various body cavities on the off chance that they will be arrested that night?

Off chance? Not that difficult to get yourself arrested.
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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So with that in mind, do you shove contraband in various orifices in order to prepare for it?


virginity.jpg


I guess if you are always a boy scout and you follow the motto "Be Prepared". Other than that, I don't see a possible explanation. :whiste:
 

glenn1

Lifer
Sep 6, 2000
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I believe the states are perfectly competent to come up with their own rules on this; it's time for the Supreme Court to stop trying to micromanage every bit of our existence.
 

sactoking

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2007
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Uhmm, why would they stop searching people? This is about strip searches, not searches in general.

I think the police departments of the United States are relatively safe in not checking for the public urinator who happens to be wandering the city streets with a knife stuck up his ass.

So, pat down searches, like those by the TSA, are stupid because we all know that they won't catch someone who's actually trying to hide something but strip searches are unneeded because pat down searches will find anything and everything not housed in an anal cavity?

That's what I get from these threads.

It's not possible that someone arrested for a low-level offense might have a dangerous object hidden on their person that's not in their rectum and might be missed by a pat-down?
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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So, pat down searches, like those by the TSA, are stupid because we all know that they won't catch someone who's actually trying to hide something but strip searches are unneeded because pat down searches will find anything and everything not housed in an anal cavity?

That's what I get from these threads.

It's not possible that someone arrested for a low-level offense might have a dangerous object hidden on their person that's not in their rectum and might be missed by a pat-down?

Apparently you have never taken part in or closely seen the pat down at the county jail. Its worlds different than the reach around you get from the not so friendly TSA agent. Granted it won't catch everything, but the officers in the jailhouse take a bit more "liberty" with their search technique. Basically jail officer =! TSA officer.
 

PokerGuy

Lifer
Jul 2, 2005
13,650
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I believe the states are perfectly competent to come up with their own rules on this; it's time for the Supreme Court to stop trying to micromanage every bit of our existence.

This is true, it's not up to the court to create the legislation on how detainees are searched, but it IS up to the court to determine what is considered a reasonable search for someone who has not even been shown to have done anything wrong at all. Even if someone has committed a minor offense for which punishment is generally minor, such a search doesn't seem reasonable.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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So, pat down searches, like those by the TSA, are stupid because we all know that they won't catch someone who's actually trying to hide something but strip searches are unneeded because pat down searches will find anything and everything not housed in an anal cavity?

That's what I get from these threads.

It's not possible that someone arrested for a low-level offense might have a dangerous object hidden on their person that's not in their rectum and might be missed by a pat-down?

In a strange confluence here, xbiffx and I are in total agreement. Cops do not frisk you like TSA officers do. At all.

The question is not what is possible, as almost anything is possible, it is a question of whether or not the search is reasonable as compared to the likelihood of someone picked up for such a minor offense having a dangerous or contraband object on their person that may only be found by a strip search.
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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In a strange confluence here, xbiffx and I are in total agreement. Cops do not frisk you like TSA officers do. At all.

The question is not what is possible, as almost anything is possible, it is a question of whether or not the search is reasonable as compared to the likelihood of someone picked up for such a minor offense having a dangerous or contraband object on their person that may only be found by a strip search.

:wub: Well, maybe not in a strip search thread. :hmm:

Edit: If we are in agreement, then it should be telling what kind of decision this was by the SC. No more evidence should be required.
 

sactoking

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2007
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In a strange confluence here, xbiffx and I are in total agreement. Cops do not frisk you like TSA officers do. At all.

The question is not what is possible, as almost anything is possible, it is a question of whether or not the search is reasonable as compared to the likelihood of someone picked up for such a minor offense having a dangerous or contraband object on their person that may only be found by a strip search.

I can buy that.

I didn't take the time to read this opinion so I wasn't actively trying to defend it, just understand it.
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
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I believe the states are perfectly competent to come up with their own rules on this; it's time for the Supreme Court to stop trying to micromanage every bit of our existence.

The ruling is that the U.S. Constitution permits jailhouse strip searches, not that they are required to perform them. The state and local authorities are free to not strip search if that is what they prefer. This ruling does exactly what you said - it leaves the issue up to the states. It's a shitty ruling, but not for this reason.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
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Uhmm, why would they stop searching people? This is about strip searches, not searches in general.

I think the police departments of the United States are relatively safe in not checking for the public urinator who happens to be wandering the city streets with a knife stuck up his ass.

LOL

Fern