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back to article Busted in the US? 'Drop your trousers, sir'

Again displaying their infinite law-and-order wisdom, the US Supreme Court has ruled that anyone arrested for any offense, however innocuous, can be strip-searched, even if there's no suspicion that they are concealing contraband. "Every detainee who will be admitted to the general [jail or prison] population may be required to …

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Pirate

Does that cover every one?

Will Muslims also be subjected to such searches or will them be exempted as they seem to have been so far?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does that cover every one?

Anyone? Does it?

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Re: Does that cover every one?

Uncover every one, more like.

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FAIL

Re: Does that cover every one?

Yeah, after all, the U.S. justice system has been just notorious for its overly favourable treatment of Muslims. Especially in the last decade or so.

*headdesk*

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WTF?

What /is/ it with the US and nudity ?

So I was watching a Gran Turismo 5 (PS3 racing game) related video where a US company sent of their 'best' reporter with (iirc) $500,- to get a car and drive the Nurburgring (Nordschleiffe). Pretty fun IMO, but one thing caught my attention.. During a stop at a tank station the reporters attention was quickly diverted by the magazine stand: "Whoah, they have Playboys and other mags with topless women in plain sight?!".

This was some time ago and kinda made me go "huh?!", because I hardly would consider that special. Heck; Germany even has their "Bild Zeitung" ("Bild newspaper") which almost every time has a "Page 1 girl" (don't take my word for it; go to bild.de and see for yourself).

I can only conclude that the US is obsessed with nudity, yet in very negative ways. Only a few days ago did I learn about a teacher who was facing 40 (!) years in jail because the /company/ computer she worked on picked up pr0n displaying malware which started spouting off crap during a presentation. "Risk of injury to minors", WTF? And the reason I go "WTF" is because if the malware would have shown people getting horribly mutilated (sawing off heads or even more gross) then it wouldn't have been any problem what so ever. I'm convinced of that.

Makes perfect sense; getting (your) brains shot out is perfectly normal and merely part of life it seems, deal with it kiddo! But a naked woman or man? HEAVEN forbid!

Oh man, South Park managed to capture this SO darn well ("Good times with weapons", Season 8 iirc); the boys pick up weapons illegally ("our parents died, we can't get consent, wheeeeee!") and Butters ("Professor Chaos") ends up with a throwing star in his eye. And the events cause a MAJOR uproar in the whole town. "THE WORST thing which has EVER happened to South Park!!". Rightfully so eh ?

What's that? Because kids mutilated themselves? Naah! No, even WORSE!

Because Cartman, in the kids make believe game, thought he'd "invisibly" move across a stage where an auction was being held, all filmed and shown on air real time. And as we all know; if you're invisible then your clothes are the things which keep you visible....

At the time I saw this at first I laughed my ass off, only to learn learn at a later time that this was actually FOR REAL.

As such: WTF?!

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PT

Re: What /is/ it with the US and nudity ?

Simple, really - the USA is obsessed with repressed sexual guilt. You might have noticed the great majority of second-rate American horror/suspense movies revolve around threatening a nubile and helpless young woman with rape, mutilation and death. Any trick cyclist could explain that for you.

Personally, I think it's what happens when religious nutters get too much influence. There are no naked boobs in Iran or Saudi Arabia either.

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Silver badge

Remember where most of them came from.

For the most part, the early American colonies were started by Puritans...dissenters, essentially. Religion was the main reason they CAME to America in the first place, so it (along with the environment) is going to have a profound influence in cultural development. As for the tolerance of violence, that tends to come from having to push out into wilderness for 100 years or so.

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FAIL

Re: USA is obsessed with repressed sexual guilt

Apparently, this is not stopping their teenagers from getting it on. Their teen pregnancy rate is three times that of Europe. And how's this abstinence thing working for you?

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Re: Remember where most of them came from.

That is the biggest crock I've read all day.

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Re: What /is/ it with the US and nudity ?

and yet the US is the biggest consumer of hentai and shißer porn outside of their respective countries (Japan and Germany).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember where most of them came from.

The American Puritans that fled to the new world because of "religious persecution" did so because the English passed laws that promoted tolerance and they did not agree with them. They did not want to be tolerant of others. The religious freedom they sought was the freedom to not be tolerant of others. Go look it up.

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Re: Remember where most of them came from.

"As for the tolerance of violence, that tends to come from having to push out into wilderness for 100 years or so."

Well, that, and the need to brutally decimate the people that were here first.

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Silver badge

Re: Remember where most of them came from.

Precisely the point. They were religious arch-conservatives: tightwads, sticklers for the scripture. To them, nudity was a sign of Original Sin, if not the Deadly Sin of Lust. Tell me, do you anything resembling the Amish or the Mennonites east of the pond? Where else but the colonies could you have a story like Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter?

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Re: Remember where most of them came from.

Has there been an original thought in Europe in years?

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Re: Remember where most of them came from.

Anonymous Coward of 17:08 GMT, please name an act of Parliament passed in the reign of James I (during which some Puritans left for the Netherlands) that “promoted tolerance” in religious matters in England. On my side, I’ll offer as counterexamples the fates of the dissenters Thomas Helwys, Bartholomew Legate, and Edward Wightman: I recommend that you go look them up, since it might assist your understanding as to why some Puritans chose to emigrate.

You also might find illumination in the discussion of the Jacobean C of E religious establishment in the book God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicolson.

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Anonymous Coward

The right to bear arms...

and now the right to bare bottoms.

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Happy

Re: The right to bear arms...

do they have the right to arm bare bears yet?

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Re: The right to bear arms...

There's a Baen book called The Right To Arm Bears, about a planet whose intelligent native inhabitants bear a striking resemblance to, well, bears.

I laughed for about ten minutes straight when I found it on a friend's shelf.

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Silver badge

And the next step

is strip searches of the public anywhere, for any reason. That's the next freedom to be taken away. Oh, and you can bet Australia will follow in quick succession like we do with everything else US.

My money's on 2018 as being the year we finally have no freedoms or rights left at all.

Just to recap what we've lost so far:

Right to be charged before detention: gone

Right to counsel on arrest: gone

Habeus corpus: gone

Right to trial and right of defence: gone

Double jeopardy: gone

Statute of limitations: gone

Freedom of speech: gone

Freedom of assembly: gone

Right of first sale: gone

Right of privacy: gone

Right to own computing device and data: almost gone (once Windows 7 is grandfathered out)

Anyone think of any others?

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Anonymous Coward

It seems that certain groups/individuals in the US are using strip searches as a punishment rather than a method for searching for stuff that shouldn't be in a prison.

Whilst it is necessary to prevent the smuggling of drugs, weapons and mobile phones into prisons, there are better methods for doing this (airport perv-scanners etc.).

I think that the Supreme Court should at least be giving clear guidelines on how strip searches can be used and there should be some comeback on those who misuse.

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They don't use perv-scanners...

...because prisons know the ingenuity of prison smugglers, and some of the most common stashing places happen to be in the orifices (both up top and "where the sun don't shine"), neither of which can be probed by most modern scanner technologies. The only one known to work is transmissive x-rays, like they use in hospitals. At least one jail in Illinois DOES use this tech, and it has been able to detect swallowed and "inserted" contraband. Trouble is, the machines shoot much more radiation than the perv-scanner, and frequent travelers could hit their annual radiation quote way too quickly.

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@AC: April 2012 08:33 GMT

No, SCOTUS should not be writing law from the bench, that's what Legislatures are for. More importantly, legislatures can better adapt to changing mores than one size fits all decrees from SCOTUS. Which is sort of how we got here in the first place, too many decrees from the bench so instead of going to the legislatures where they should be going, everything goes to court instead.

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Coat

Do they still give you a strip search

If they catch you naked in public?

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Joke

I'm due to go to the States later this year. Now I'm starting to regret getting this gang tattoo on the back of my balls.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm.

I'd also regret leaving that comment if recent history of silly jokes on interwebs being taken seriously by humourless 'merkins is anything to by.

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Re: Hmmm.

Meh. I'm not sure, but I don't think they've actually criminalised tattos just yet.

Especially since the gang in question is Our Gang from the Lil Rascals. I've got Alfalfa's head on one side, and Buckwheat's on the other.

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Joke

Re: Hmmm.

@AC - Talking of Merkins, will their strip-search also require to check *for* a merkin in case there's contraband hidden "behind the bush"?!

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Joke

no problem

that's okay, if it's an *English* gang tattoo they won't recognize it anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

AIUI a gang tattoo (along with any dermal implants) is a ticket to getting out of general population due to the possibility of gang violence, or your dermal implant being used as a weapon.

Since the US is effectively turning into a police state where more and more ordinary things become evidence of terrorist/criminal intent (and therefore criminal in and of themselves) it's probably smart to get one or both of these things done.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Discretion?

"Maintaining safety and order at detention centers requires the expertise of correctional officials," Kennedy wrote, "who must have substantial discretion to devise reasonable solutions to problems."

But American officials don't have discretion: they're all jobsworths. Any official displaying a whit of discretion will get busted.

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behold the fourth reich

Let's al not go there....the fourth reich is what you get when you mix economic and religious extremism with modern tech....

Another synonym for the ol US of A: Doomsday device

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Bronze badge

Re: behold the fourth reich

The terrorists won on 9/11.

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crazy

You couldnt pay me to go visit the USA, theyre rapidly approaching thought crime status. I await the news that they have re openned the Salem witch trials.

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Alien

Re: crazy

>I await the news that they have re openned the Salem witch trials.<

Er, they have, they're called pirates, and the witch hunters have now attained global status.

In point of fact it amazes me how many non Americans are facing American courts accused of various internet related 'crimes' compared to how many paedophiles and terrorists they've actually caught.

As to the naked thing, the best one I heard about was film makers digitally adding blood to a car windscreen to hide a female zombie's breasts in the new Dawn of the Dead remake (only for American audiences) to keep the rating low - that tells me all I need to know about a nations peccadilloes.

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WTF?

Spanish Inquisition

I assume

""who must have substantial discretion to devise reasonable solutions to problems."

was part of the mandate of the Spanish Inquisition too.

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Facepalm

He ..."is black"

Of course he is.

I had a mental picture of a black guy (victim) from the 1st paragraph onwards.

Oh America, how you have strayed.

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Re: He ..."is black"

I didn't know it when I first read about the decision. I pictured him as white. But then most racism is in the eye of the beholder.

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Big Brother

«Land of the free, home of the brave»

And with a (divine, no doubt) mandate - aka «no options off the table» - to bomb to oblivion any other country which may displease its government. What people in the United States are (all too) slowly coming to recognise that Empire abroad inevitably leads to Repression at home. Perhaps they will soon also realise that the preconditions envisaged by Thomas Jefferson fpr political change - «whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it [i e, an existing form of government], and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness» - have been at hand for at least a decade, if not longer....

Henri

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De la démocratie en Amérique

Henri, if you wonder why we Americans have not exercised this right, despite our stereotypical “prying my right to bear arms from my cold, dead hands” rhetoric, you need look no farther than the brilliantly prescient Tocqueville — in particular, Part 4, Chapter VI., Quelle espèce de despotisme les nations démocratiques ont à craindre. (My fellow anglophonetards may play along at home by summoning up a translation, e.g. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/ch4_06.htm .)

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Pint

Strip searching prisoners in a jail because you think they may be carrying weapons or drugs? I reckon anyone who is arrested and taken into general population would have to be concerned about that. But strip searching someone for a traffic offense, walking a dog without a leash, or some other minor offense without cause is just wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Cry baby, cry

Like the pissin and moaning will change reality. Duh.

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And it makes it more dangerous for the police

There was a case a few years ago, an architect in a BMW made some remark to a cop when he was pulled over for speeding/busted light minor offence.

So the cop had him thrown in prison for the weekend, they took all his clothes before throwing him the general holding cell (or whatever it's called) where he was raped.

He was released without charge but while waiting for the results of the AIDS test he made the comment that if they were going to do this it was statistically safer for a driver to just shoot the police officer in the head as soon as they approached the car. Your chances of getting away with it are pretty good and if you are arrested for a speeding ticket you face a possible death sentence from your weekend in jail anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And it makes it more dangerous for the police

Sounds like jail stories might be a good deterrent for those worth saving. The rest can go to Hell. BTW, I seriously doubt the dude was nekked all weekend... possible but unlikely, as is the rape claim. More likely he got a purdy orange jumpt suit to wear.

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Silver badge

Re: And it makes it more dangerous for the police

Found the link to the story. He was put in the local police station holding cell was rather than prison, where the other inhabitants stole all his clothes before attacking him.

His point was that ( risk of detection * sentence) for cop killing is less than punishment for mouthing off to a traffic cop. So you should logically shoot the cop.

It's like the mandatory life sentences under "three strikes", if you face the same punishment for killing all the witnesses as you do for a minor theft - why not use a gun?

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This certianly is not the America I wanted to become a citizen of.

Too late now though, oh well I will make the most of it, occasionally there are things that make me proud, but less so these days, it is sad, and embarrasing.

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Other Issue

While I cannot quarrel with the Supreme Court's decision that authorities have the right to do what is necessary to prevent contraband from being smuggled into prisons, the police had absolutely no right not to keep their records up-to-date, no right to fail to correctly record that the man's fine was paid.

It's not as if people sign an agreement to waive their rights in return for having the police protect them from crime, since the latter is not a choice. So they should still face wide-open unlimited liability for the mistaken arrest.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Other Issue

The police do not maintain these records, the courts do.

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DJ
Unhappy

A very sad day, indeed.

And yet, as bad as this decision is - and it is shockingly bad - it pales in comparison to the long-term effects of the horrific Citizens United decision.

Returning to the most recent travesty; will one of DC's finest please pull any or all the five idiot Supremes over and provide a complete and intimate understanding of what they have done? Pretty please?

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All the integrity of Goebbels

Good ole Reg. Never let the truth get in the way of a headline. Of course all persons arrested must be searched. Not all offenses require arrest.

Not sure why I bother. Truth has no place in British 'news'.

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Unhappy

Munich

Few weeks ago i got waylaid by the plain cloth cops. "Sir,your looking a bit deranged. Have you been drinking or taking drugs?" "No Sir,(unlike you,you bloody C§nt)i´ve been working hard for twelve hours and am on my way home." They led me through the whole circus with walking the line,fingertip your nose and then made give a urine sample in public on the pavement. ("No problem there,sir,if you refuse do it her and now,we simply take you to next police station where you can give your sample in privacy")When the test turned out to be negative they left me with my cup of piss in the hands with the warning to dispose of it in a proper way.

FFS

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