03 April 2012


although i'd love to let the beauty of my logic statements stand alone today, i feel i must write about yet another brilliant change in american criminal law: strip search party!

the supreme court recently ruled that strip searches are okay after an arrest for any offense. breyer and lower courts helpfully laid out some of the offenses:
-violating a leash law
-driving without a license
-failure to pay child support
-riding a bicycle without a bell
-failure to use a turn signal
-driving with a noisy muffler

kennedy, in a spark of brilliance, noted that some of the most dangerous, dangerous criminals were first arrested for minor offenses. the example he chose to give? timothy mcveigh. of course, that makes sense, since mcveigh was - as we all remember - responsible for sneaking a bomb into the oklahoma city federal building after an arrest. hmm. for some reason the wikipedia page doesn't really say that. it says he was stopped for driving without a license and carrying a weapon, then quickly was identified as a suspect in the bombing, which was carried out via a truck bomb.

am i alone in thinking that: just because one dangerous criminal was later stopped for a somewhat minor offense (along with an offense that actually WOULD give police reasonable suspicion of a weapon) does not mean that ANY person arrested for a minor offense would then have the same propensity to have committed a dangerous crime? breyer does point out some pretty horrible offenses that people did to deserve being strip searched: trespassing! and by a nun no less! and in protest of the iraq war!

Kennedy does not stop there: "One of the terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks was stopped and ticketed for speeding just two days before hijacking Flight 93,” Justice Kennedy added.

Kennedy! how brilliant. i should have considered that possibility. had the police just arrested him, strip searched him, and found nothing on him, then... well... uh... 9/11 wouldn't have happened? how is this a justification for strip searching people for minor offenses?

but, let's say he's right: people can be strip searched for minor traffic offenses. if they can be arrested and strip searched for failure to use a turn signal, they could surely be arrested and strip searched for causing a four-car pileup on a highway, no? and, even more egregiously, an individual who was arrested for theft, attempted destruction of property (id.), or drunk driving - such a person should - nay deserves to - be strip searched. because, clearly, the past minor arrest history of an individual guides whether they will turn out to be a terrorist (though, to be fair, i must say that if that's what kennedy's arguing, i have chosen two examples that kinda fit...).


  1. and my favorite quote: "According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures."

  2. Same reasoning: all serial killers have once drunk water, so better start keeping tabs on all those waterdrinkers.

  3. FACT! i cannot believe criminologists have ignored the dangers to our society of water drinkers!