Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Strip Searches and Jail Admissions

About 13 million people are admitted to American jails each year.

Some of them don’t stay long; they may only be booked and released prior to trial. Others may stay for a long time because prison space in some states is at a premium.

All of them, however, may now be strip searched. No matter how minor the offense for which they were arrested.

That’s what the U.S. Supreme Court decided by a vote of 5 to 4 yesterday.

I’m reminded of what former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson said years ago. “We are not final because we are infallible,” he said, “but we are infallible only because we are final.”

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