Allegheny County Defends $3M Strip Search Settlement

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Speaking of strip searches and WTF moments!

PITTSBURGH – Attorneys for western Pennsylvania‘s largest county jail are defending their decision to pay $3 million to settle a class action involving 1,600 inmates who were strip searched before doing time for minor offenses, even though the U.S. Supreme Court decided such searches are legal earlier this week.

The 2010 settlement involving the Allegheny County Jail included payments to any inmates strip searched for a minor offense between July 13, 2004 and March 18, 2008. About 12,000 inmates were believed to have been eligible for the money, but only a fraction responded with class action claims. Those inmates divided the money remaining after deducting $1 million in attorneys’ fees and another $265,000 went to pay a firm that processed the claims.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/state/pennsylvania/20120403_ap_pacountydefends3mstripsearchsettlement.html#ixzz1rDqsASbf
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Strip Search for Traffic Tickets???

U.S. Supreme Court building.

U.S. Supreme Court building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: This is a big old WTF moment in American history!

In a shocking abdication of its responsibility to uphold Americans’ constitutional freedoms, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that people suspected of minor offenses, such as rolling through a stop light, can be stripped and have their body cavities searched by jail guards.

Writing for the slim 5-4 majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the court should not second-guess prison officials.

But that is exactly why there is a court – to second-guess officials when they ignore constitutional rights and freedoms.

In this case, the court threw away the individual’s basic right not to be punished before being adjudicated.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/146170285.html