Supreme Court: Strip-Searches Allowable for Any Offense


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The Supreme Court handed down a ruling today that allows strip-searches for any offense.

The high court, by a 5-4 vote, allows officials to strip-search people arrested for any offense, even if the officials had no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with conservative judges, stating that the courts are in no position to second-guess judgments of correctional officers considering the possibility of smuggled weapons, drugs and information about gangs.

"Every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed," wrote Kennedy.

But Justice Stephen Breyer dissented, writing that strip-searches were "a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy" and should only be used in special circumstances.

In 1979, the Supreme Court upheld a policy of conducting body-cavity searches of prisoners who had contact with visitors, on the premise that the prisoners could have obtained something they should not have.


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