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 …

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  1. heyrick Silver badge

    Dear Land Of Liberty...

    ...are you actually trying to devise reasons to convince tourists to go elsewhere?

    1. Silverburn
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      Convinced me. Merely continues the trends started at the airport as far as I can see.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      ...Implying there's some other place...

      1. Chris Thomas Alpha
        Stop

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        there are a lot of places in the world which wouldn't treat you like this, hell, you can practically fight with a policeman in spain and you still get treated better than the guy walking his dog without a leash.

        as much as you might like to think we're all swirling around the abyss, it's not nearly as black or white as that, some people believe in fighting the authorities for their rights and as a result the authorities back off, it's just a pity you guys in the uk don't learn something from your spanish friends...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      Not just.in the US, here in the UK they had their hands on a couple of under 16's at a School apparently on suspicion of selling drugs, without parents present.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        They had specific information that the under 16s in question were smuggling drugs into the school in their underwear. Funny enough, when searched they did find drugs in their underwear. Cue parent's indignantly fuming about their poor little innocent Johnny being strip searched ... give me a break.

        I'm vehemently against erosions of privacy and liberty such as the one this article is about. It's entirely unnecessary and invasive to strip search a person for any minor offence with no prior indication or suspicion that they might be concealing something on their person. However that's very different from searching anyone, including school children, when you have witnesses stating that the individual(s) in question are hiding narcotics in their underwear, and worse bringing then into a school.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

          The thing is the parents should have been present (as in in the building not in the room) then the children should have been searched, with two people present at the search to ensure no inappropriate actions..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

          And how difficult would it have been to detain the pupils, wait for a parent/guardian or childs advocate to be summoned and then conduct the search??

          You know thats actually how the written law says it should be done!

        3. Clark Coffman
          Thumb Up

          Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

          Thank you, thank you for posting the facts on that particular case with the students, I just love it when people raise things like this event and purposely leave out very important details.

          I have to say that The Register has done a total dis-service to this story. They make it sound like if you are stopped for anything in the US, you can be strip searched, not so but if the incident goes far enough that they are going to lock you up for some period of time, they are definitely going to search you and they have the right and the bloody responsibility to do so.

          I speak from personal experience, when I was 18 I was arrested, not the first time but the first time as an adult in the US. They had to put me in a cell because the booking rooms were too busy to handle any more folks at the time. (I had an unpaid minor under consumption fine from three months previously, a drinking under age fine basically and I was hauled in after being stopped for a tail light that was out on my van.)

          While they did not strip search me they did do a very complete pat down search and then locked me up for about an hour. I can totally understand why since I was being put into the city jail cells with others. It's only prudent and even at that age I understood. What if someone takes a pocket knife off me in the cell and hurts me or others, what if I'm carrying something else that ends up being used to cuase harm? Do you think I'll be held responsible? Not likely, instead someone will sue the police for not making sure I didn't bring in something dangerous or something coveted by another being held with me.

          I'm 49 now, just to be clear that this has been a standard practice in the US for a very long time. This is exactly what the justices were debating too, not whether you could be strip searched at the airport, or in a public place, or strip searched outside your car on the highway. Jeez is there any common sense among folks anymore? Do we have to have knee jerk reactions to everything and every mistake a human makes?

          I feel for the guy, he shouldn't have even been locked up but dang it people make mistakes and to drag in a practice like searching someone before locking them up as some nationally important event seems bogus to me.

          Also what we probably don't hear here is that this guy was probably right in the cops face or something similar, I'm not saying that is the case, I don't know but neither do the others posting here. I had friends when I was younger who were oh so verdant about their rights and often got into a cops face when we were stopped while walking around the town at 3 am in the morning.

          These idiots often came close to getting us all arrested over nothing but a request to see our ids. I learned a very long time ago, from a wise uncle, never, ever, piss off a cop, it's simply not smart nor is it going to get you anything but trouble. Be calm, do what they say and if you have problems with it, deal with it later if you feel so inclined. My wisdom to you younger geeks out there. Hope you're listening. :-)

      2. This Side Up
        Devil

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        "Not just.in the US, here in the UK they had their hands on a couple of under 16's at a School apparently on suspicion of selling drugs, without parents present."

        I suspect they'd have been a lot more embarrassed if their parents had been present.

      3. Windrose

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        Yes - and despite the remarks made elsewhere in the thread - that was very, very wrong. Even if they DID find drugs.

        The difference - the rather MAJOR difference - is that the UK Supreme Court hasn't said "Oh, that's ok, no matter what they've allegedly done or not done or who they are. Just go ahead, any time it takes your fancy"

    4. Haku

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      Pre-millennium I had a notion of wanting to visit America one day, but now if I had to choose between going to America or eating a kangaroo scrotum I'd ask you to pass me the ketchup.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      for a country

      So hung up on nudity I'm surprised this is allowed to go on.

      1. tirk
        Unhappy

        Nudity

        I think that's the point. If they didn't think it was humiliating they'd think of some other way to humiliate and degrade. It's *intended* as extra-judicial punishment IMO.

        Nudity and sexual humiliation was prevelant an the Abu Graib photographs remember.

        The USA is a scary place to visit these days, flags, people in uniform everywhere, pro-military and patriotic slogans all over the place. I appreciate they feel under attack, but the end result was to make me think of 1930's Europe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: for a country

        Thats the point though, its even more degrading when you find the nudity degrading as well as being searched. personally I don't care about the nudity, but I do care about being searched without cause, especially by another man... ..

        Strip searches sound like their being used for intimidation...

    6. jason 7

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      Yeah, we go to Canada now.

      Food and beer is a lot better and when you talk to a Canadian you don't get to hear "Oh you are a Brit eh? Didn't we save your ass back in WW2?"

      To which you want to reply "Yes you tedious twat you did help us out and we are eternally grateful and we paid you back every cent. Oh and thanks for reminding us every two minutes like a condescending parent . However, had you got involved when you should have done it may not have cost as much or taken as long!"

      Canada immigration the last time we went, stopped us when we mentioned one destination to mention most concerned that there was no snow at that location. They didn't want us to be disappointed! Ahhh bless.

      1. El Richard Thomas

        The only problem with going to Canada is the risk that if your destination airport is closed for any reason you may well be diverted to the US, and have to endure US immigration anyway. Wasn't one of those online gambling company owners who was arrested in the US was on a direct flight to somewhere further south? I seem to recall his flight was diverted to Miami because of "bad weather" or "mechanical problems".

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Isn't the TSA doing checks on people flying to Canada and Cuba from the UK now, and not allowing you to go even if you go nowhere near the US?

      2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        Likewise- I haven't set foot in the US since March 2000. But since then I've had some fantastic holidays in BC. Good food, good beer, great people.

    7. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      Promised I wouldn't set foot in the States until they came to their senses, oh well looks like my kids will never get to see Disneyland!

      "Sorry kids but America has a bunch of fucking morons in charge who consider the most innocent activity to be criminal and deserving of abuse that would make most Chinese Policemen say, 'Jeez that's a bit fucking harsh!', so if you want to see Mickey Mouse it will have to be performed in the rain by a French guy in a very hot suit who probably hates the English with a passion!'

      1. Iggle Piggle

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        Fuzzy, arrest is not the same as conviction. Supposing your argument were true it would mean that they are handing out punishment before conviction. Surely even the US have some amount of presumed innocence in their justice system.

      2. AdamWill

        Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

        Whew, your kids just caught a break.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      I haven't set foot in "the Land of Liberty" since George W Bush was elected .... And I live in the USA!

    9. Iggle Piggle

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      Convinced me years ago. I hate being treated like a criminal just for wanting to go on holiday there. I will now actively find reasons not to go there.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Dear Land Of Liberty...

      WE HAVE TOO MANY IMMIGRANTS THIS WILL HELP KEEP THEM OUT

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Land of the perverts

    Seriously. Highly preoccupied with genital inspections. Fucking weird.

    1. Intractable Potsherd
      Unhappy

      Re: Land of the perverts

      Make it illicit, and people will find a way to see it. Those with power of others will often find a way to get what there illicit jollies through their jobs unless they are strictly controlled. It is clear that the US Supreme Court is not willing to ensure those strict controls are maintained. They have absolutely failed in their duty.

      What is left to those who wish to see proper respect for people? Rebellion?

  3. Silverburn
    Facepalm

    Someone seriously needs to get their head out their arse and back into the real world, over in "Justice".

    Maybe when they themselves get the treatment after a minor traffic offence will they realise...

    1. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      never going to happen

      >Maybe when they themselves get the treatment after a minor traffic offence will they realise...

      The US actually has laws to protect those who make laws from the laws (immunity fail). In addition to tell how much judges get away with the main reason that idiot trigger happy nut in Florida isn't in jail is because his dad was a former judge. The US were poor go to jail for two seeds of pot but the rich can shoot people (or strangle them in OJs case) without jail time.

  4. Jonski
    WTF?

    This ruling gives carte blanche to pervert cops to oogle anybody they want, on any trumped-up charge they can think of. I can't wait to see what lawsuits are spawned from this one, and what payouts people get when the decision is finally overturned.

    A spot of fishing, anybody?

    1. JohnMoser

      "Overturned"? It's the SUPREME COURT. The case the plaintiff should have brought would be a civil one for the false arrest and imprisonment. A prison(or even a jail) certainly can't allow prisoners to carry in weapons. Otherwise you end up with a prison where the inmates run the err...asylum. It is curious that the conservative justices sided with a uber leftist county. Democrats support arresting people for just about anything; they have no interest in human rights,,,until you get arrested.

      1. Killraven

        Interesting sort of Democrats you have in your country, they sound very different than the ones in mine. I'm from America. Where are you?

        1. asdf Silver badge
          FAIL

          right wing twats

          Yep those Dems are embarassing. Oh wait it was Republicans that got W Bush elected for 8 years. Talk about an embarrassing train wreck of a president. Like Carter on steroids.

      2. Irony Deficient

        superfluous caps

        JohnMoser, it’s not unknown for the US Supreme Court to overturn one of its past decisions — consider Brown v. Board of Education overturning Plessy v. Ferguson. Granted, such a U-turn might take some decades to happen, but happen it does.

      3. Seán
        FAIL

        Sleepy People

        I shouldn't have to explain stuff about your country to you but you are suffering from being american. The supreme court is stacked with Republicans. You see now the basic childish error you've made. Your apology isn't necessary I don't care.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Sleepy People

          You need to study your maths more. I count 5 justices appointed by Republicans, 4 justices appointed by Democrats. And Republican appointees have a tendency to "go native" once they are on the court (like Blackmun, Powell, Stevens, and Souter). That's not stacked anywhere in the free world.

          What matters isn't party, it's willingness to substitute personal opinion for the strictures of the Constitution.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay attention to the "general population" bit. In most places, an arrest won't wind you up in general population. Even if it does, you might bond out before you see general population, as it can take days to in-process. What I'm surprised by is the outrage at this supreme court ruling. Those who've never been on the inside of a US prison or jail might be surprised to know that strip searches were already very common. Hell, you're already naked in front of other people when they dress you down to enter genpop, by which point you've long lost any dignity.

    You really have little rights when it comes to strip searches while in a jail or prison, and the argument has always been the same as the one for patdowns of contacted pedestrians by patrol officers: officer safety, and that of the population (other inmates), obviates the need to justify searches any more rigorously than "just to be sure." This is absolutely nothing new, and the "probable cause" the hippies blab on about hinges on quite a few easily manipulated or creatively-interpreted legal precedents. Many of which, mind you, already don't apply to those incarcerated.

    Note: not a lawyer, this is just my personal experience and supported by anecdotal evidence from acquaintances. It's a big country, and it could be much different from one jurisdiction to the next. Don't do drugs, kids.

    1. Notas Badoff Silver badge
      Flame

      Busted

      headlight I see there. Shame it's the weekend and we're understaffed and we don't know when the judge will show up, or your lawyer, so it's just us and the other guests in the jail of this in-a-financial-crisis-so-we-can't-have-separate-facilities-for-tourists county. Ain't that right, General Pop? "Yes, sir! Give us some more sir!"

      BTW: come back when you have some applicable "my personal experience". Or are you saying you've already gotten to the "lost any dignity" point?

    2. John Wilson
      Mushroom

      He didn't do drugs

      Erm.. all your post highlights is that not only is the American penal system FUBAR, but some people are perfectly happy with this state of affairs. Not that one needs to venture far on the internet to see Americans delighting in their "PMITA" form of prison, never considering that degradation of detainees could be harmful to both the detainee and the prison system as a whole.

      The fact, incidentally, that the SCOTUS has declared that one has no rights with regards to strip searches while in jail, does not imply that SCOTUS is right, and that one *should not* have such rights.

      1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: He didn't do drugs

        I love the word SCOTUS, it's just one letter off of SCROTUS. Which is how I always read it.

    3. Windrose
      WTF?

      Must be irony.

      Don't walk your dog either.

      Oh, and DEFINETLY don't pay fines. They'll do you anyway, whether you pay or not, so why bother?

      Well done, AC! You've explained very well why this asshattery is going on. Here, have a mirror.

    4. AdamWill
      FAIL

      Yes

      "Those who've never been on the inside of a US prison or jail might be surprised to know that strip searches were already very common. Hell, you're already naked in front of other people when they dress you down to enter genpop, by which point you've long lost any dignity."

      Yes. Yes, we are surprised. That's kind of the point. I don't know of any other even vaguely civilized nation which treats its prisoners the way the U.S. does.

      What you seem to be missing is the fact that the rest of the civilized world is shocked, surprised and outraged when they hear about your standard prison procedures should be cluing you in to the fact they're outrageous and unacceptable by any reasonable standard of dignity.

  6. kain preacher Silver badge

    This applies to when they book you in jail. Usually being booked for some this trivial would not have in jail this long enough to be stripped searched. Now they can't just search on the street. You must formally be arrested and put into jail. Now what I want to know is was he arrested and put into jail. Not paying fines in not a offense which you can be jailed in New Jersey. Why was moved? Why was he in jail for two weeks before seeing a judge ?

    1. Old Handle

      He probably see probably said something rude to the cop, so the deliberately delayed clearing up the mistake to punish him. Plus he's black.

  7. norman

    I see why Americans that agree with this want a smaller government

    Due to the places they want their government to go....

    1. JC_

      Re: I see why Americans that agree with this want a smaller government

      And yet the so-called 'party of small government' - the Republicans - nominated the justices that made the majority in this decision. How can any voter with two brain cells keep voting for these guys? Santorum, FFS...

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: I see why Americans that agree with this want a smaller government

        The US Republicans aren't really the party of small government, whatever they say. They are the party of small government as regards handouts to poor people and regulation of their businesses, and giant government as regards their perpetual war machine, police state and.interference in other people's sex lives

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Mutantone
    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does that cover every one?

      Anyone? Does it?

      1. Soruk

        Re: Does that cover every one?

        Uncover every one, more like.

    2. AdamWill
      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*

  10. ShelLuser
    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?!

    1. 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.

      1. Charles 9 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.

        1. ratfox Silver badge
          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?

        2. Seán

          Re: Remember where most of them came from.

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

        3. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Charles 9 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?

          2. Irony Deficient

            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.

        4. GT66

          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.

        5. Hoop-a-joop

          Re: Remember where most of them came from.

          Has there been an original thought in Europe in years?

    2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      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).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The right to bear arms...

    and now the right to bare bottoms.

    1. Measurer
      Happy

      Re: The right to bear arms...

      do they have the right to arm bare bears yet?

    2. AdamWill

      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.

  12. Steven Roper

    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?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      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.

    2. Tom 13

      @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.

  14. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    Do they still give you a strip search

    If they catch you naked in public?

  15. Mako
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Mako

        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.

      2. Graham Marsden
        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"?!

    2. AdamWill
      Joke

      no problem

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  16. Evan Essence
    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.

  17. dwieske

    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

    1. Evan Essence

      Re: behold the fourth reich

      The terrorists won on 9/11.

  18. john devoy

    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.

    1. Tony Paulazzo
      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.

  19. Marco van de Voort
    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.

  20. Winkypop Silver badge
    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.

    1. Tom 13

      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.

  21. mhenriday
    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

    1. Irony Deficient

      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 .)

  22. Gil Grissum
    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.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cry baby, cry

    Like the pissin and moaning will change reality. Duh.

  24. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward 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?

  25. SirDigalot

    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.

  26. John Savard Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other Issue

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

  27. 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?

  28. Hoop-a-joop

    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'.

  29. Richard Altmann
    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

  30. P. Lee Silver badge
    FAIL

    Isn't the idea

    that they try to discourage you from being willing to deal with law enforcement?

    They don't want you in that protest crowd.

    Like the RIAA mob, they are trying an end-run around due-process.

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