Morning Reads for Tuesday, April 3rd

April 3, 2012 5:42 am

by Jason · 27 comments

Here in Georgia…
– Walter Jones breaks down the winners and losers from the 2012 legislative session.
– Covington may ban “saggy pants,” because they apparently have nothing better to do.
– Jay Bookman says Georgia Republicans have lost their fear of voters.

National stories of interest…
– It’s primary day in Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
– President Obama took a rather divisive tone toward the Supreme Court yesterday as they decide the fate of the PPACA.
– Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) says Obama should run against the SCOTUS if they strike down ObamaCare.
– The WSJ defends the Supreme Court against attacks from the Left.
– We may have another show down over election funding in federal court.
– Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele wanted a brokered convention.
– Ramesh Ponnuru argues that Rick Santorum actually hurts social conservatives rather than advance their cause.
– Chris Edwards likes where Rep. Paul Ryan is going on tax reform.
– Tax Freedom Day is still two weeks away.
TSA ad on Craigslist: Looking for people to join “imperious security team”
– House Republicans may revive earmarking.

A few that I like…
This car lasted 576,000 miles on one owner.
– The Atlanta Braves finalized their roster yesterday.

John Vestal April 3, 2012 at 7:33 am

114-year-old Bulloch County native and former pediatrician Dr. Leila Denmark has passed away in Athens. :-(

She practiced for over 70 years, and was the only woman in her graduating class at MCG (and only the third woman graduate ever). She also helped develop a vaccine for pertussis.

Harry April 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

As the article mentioned, this woman gave away free services to many thousands of indigents during her years of practice. She was a medical angel. Another thing: she was considered as the second or third oldest person in the world. I believe two of the remaining 10 oldest are also living here in Georgia.

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 9:53 am

This court has gone too far in my opinion. This demonstrates the lack of respect of individual rights over institutions in recent court rulings. Not only our unions and corporations people under this court, an individual can get arrested for a traffic ticket with no propel cause and be subjected to a strip searches. This court has lost touch in my opinion.

….In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against a New Jersey man who was strip searched in two county jails following his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he had, in reality, paid.

The decision resolved a conflict among lower courts about how to balance security and privacy. Prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, lower courts generally prohibited routine strip searches for minor offenses. In recent years, however, courts have allowed jailers more discretion to maintain security, and the high court ruling ratified those decisions.

In this case, Albert Florence’s nightmare began when the sport utility vehicle driven by his pregnant wife was pulled over for speeding. He was a passenger; his 4-year-old son was in the backseat……

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/story/2012-04-02/supreme-court-strip-search/53945028/1

benevolus April 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

I’m pretty liberal, but I think that ruling is OK. As long as they do it for eeveryone being admitted to the jail, then its fair.
What I don’t get is how he even got that far anyway. Dude had paid his fine and yet was held for 6 days before they figured that out? THAT is ridiculous. He needs to sue for that.

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

This is not about liberal or conservative it is about protecting the rights of an individual. If a person is pulled over for minor violations like traffic violations and demonstrates no probable cause other than minor violations, what gives the state the right to strip search the person? You really think jay walkers, leash violators……should be subject to strip searches?

Harry April 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

What happened to the Fourth Amendment?

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

GREAT POINT!

…………..The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized………

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

benevolus April 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

As the opinion says, if they are going to put them in the general population in the prison, they have an obligation to prevent contraband from entering. I would be all for keeping minor violators separated so they don’t have to do that. But if you start picking and choosing who gets strip searched and who doesn’t, you end up with a whole ‘nuther bag of worms. Of all the thousands or tens of thousands of laws across the country that a person could get arrested for, where do you draw the line as to who gets searched and who doesn’t?

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

First this case is about jail not prison ie arrested not convicted. Second we are talking about minor violations not gang bangers. Third the concept of probable cause historically applied to searchers that should not be evasive unless the authorities had a real reason. Forth I challenge you to give me examples of a minor violator who did not demonstrate the need of probable that have caused problems in the jail system?

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm

“Second we are talking about minor violations not gang bangers.”

I see your point about whether the severity of the violation warrants an invasive strip search, but even minor violations are still violations of the law.

Even violations as seemingly minor as speeding, jaywalking, leash violations, etc, can put someone in serious legal jeopardy, especially if one comes in direct contact with the legal system in any way, shape or form (like someone commits a minor infraction of jaywalking, is stopped by a LEO for committing said minor infraction and is discovered to have a warrant out for his or her arrest for a previous violation during the interaction with the LEO, is apprehended and taken into custody).

Jails (and prisons) don’t distinguish between minor violators and serious violators upon admittance to their facilities and often don’t have the time, personnel or resources to do so as one of their main obligations is to maintain order and preserve the safety of their personnel and those that they have in their custody as best they can and one of the primary ways that they have to do that, as unpleasant as it may seem, is to at least conduct a basic strip search on every person admitted to their respective detainment facilities to make sure deadly contraband is not being either unintentionally or purposefully smuggled into the jail.

As we’ve witnessed again-and-again many times over the years with the Fulton County Jail (from the rapper T.I. being smuggled in and out of the jail virtually unnoticed with ease to film a music video in the jail, to the Brian Nichols debacle which was easily preventable), we know what can happen when the most basic of security measures are not executed.

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

……….. As we’ve witnessed again-and-again many times over the years with the Fulton County Jail (from the rapper T.I. being smuggled in and out of the jail virtually unnoticed with ease to film a music video in the jail, to the Brian Nichols debacle which was easily preventable), we know what can happen when the most basic of security measures are not executed……….

In all due respect the above examples were not people in jail for traffic tickets, leash violations……….And when arrested the authorities had probable cause via the seriousness of their violations. How can you compare this to your wife, kid……………being pulled over for a traffic ticket, unpaid parking tickets……being strip search at the arrest and or jail with the above? If you have probable cause which is rather low threshold it is not an issue it my opinion. But to use strip searches as a check in method for jay walkers being held in jail is nuts and violates any practical application of the 4rth amendment! This gives a green light for the authorities to violate people for jay walking.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Being strip-searched at the county jail isn’t exactly my idea of a good time either.

But while HIGHLY undesirable as it may be, usually when an arrest results from an interaction with a LEO that was initiated from a relatively minor violation it is because there was a warrant out for their apprehension on a more serious violation, which is almost always a “Failure to Appear” in court on a previous minor or serious violation.

In the eyes of the law, minor violations like jaywalking, traffic offenses, etc, are probable cause for search and seizure while larger violations like failing to appear in court (even failing to appear in court for minor infractions) are probable cause for arrest and detainment.

And make no mistake, no matter how minor the violation that led the LEO to initiate the interaction with someone was, “Failure-to-Appear” for a court date in and of itself is considered a very serious violation in the eyes of the law.

Failing to appear for a court date makes anyone almost the equivalent of a fugitive from justice in the eyes of the law, no matter how seemingly small the initial offense was.

If I receive a date in court for a jaywalking offense and I don’t show up, they put a warrant out for my arrest and the next time I have an interaction with a LEO that requires them to run my identification through the system, I get arrested and go to jail as most everyone else would.

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm

You think everyone arrested no matter the violations should have a strip search?

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Good question, btw. I do think that it is more fair if everyone is strip searched upon being processed into jail, but like some of the commenters on here mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t mind if there was a way to separate those arrested on minor offenses from those arrested on more serious charges and only strip search those arrested on the more serious stuff, I could possibly agree with that.

Though knowing family and personal friends who have worked and who do work in county jails and being somewhat privy to what goes on in there, from both prisoners and guards smuggling in contraband to people being arrested on purpose for the express purpose of smuggling contraband (illegal drugs, weapons, etc) into jails, to prisoners with mental illness who are a continuing harm to themselves and others, to gangfights and even murders or prisoners and hospitalizations of guards inside of jails and prisons, I can only opine that jails must be allowed to reserve the right and the privilege to protect their employees and the prisoners in their custody and, unfortunately, an unpleasant as it is, strip searches are a key way to do that.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

“What I don’t get is how he even got that far anyway. Dude had paid his fine and yet was held for 6 days before they figured that out?”

In addition to that Mr. Florence even kept written documentation with him at all times to show that he had paid the fine despite the glitch in the computer system incorrectly showing that he had not and had a warrant out for his arrest.

But, unfortunately, what happens when there is a warrant out for someone’s arrest, whether the information is correct or not, is that the LEO only goes by what comes back when they run someone’s license or ID through the system.

No matter what type of documentation Mr. Florence or anyone else may have showing otherwise that may actually be correct, the LEO is not going to take any chances and will apprehend anyone showing a warrant out for their arrest where any issues with incorrect information will have to be worked out while the subject of the warrant is in custody.

It sucks that Mr. Florence had to stay behind bars for six days and was strip searched twice despite paying the fine while the authorities hashed out whether he actually belonged behind bars, but that’s the way it works. Unfortunately it is not as uncommon of an occurrance as it sounds as people get detained for minor violations or misunderstandings quite often when a computer system incorrectly shows that someone did not pay a fine or appear in court when they actually did and they are taken into custody and have to stay there until everything is sorted out in their favor.

benevolus April 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Just because it IS that way doesn’t mean it SHOULD be that way. I mean, people get picked up for DUI or all kinds of other traffic violations all the time. Do they go to jail and get strip searched too? Or do they have different holding cells for them? The problem here is the state record keeping. Erroneously holding someone in jail for 6 days is very bad.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

“I mean, people get picked up for DUI or all kinds of other traffic violations all the time. Do they go to jail and get strip searched too?”

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of jails around the country, EVERYONE (men and women, young and old, hardened criminals and first-time violators, etc) admitted and processed into the jail gets strip searched.

“Or do they have different holding cells for them?”

The only people that usually have different holding cells are the people who are processed into the jail on murder charges or those who might have severe mental illness and may be of harm to themselves and everyone else (like the people you hear about who are on suicide watch or people who have to be severely restrained from hurting themselves and others, etc).

Outside of the most violent and dangerous subjects, everyone else is usually in the same holding area in many jails.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

“The problem here is the state record keeping. Erroneously holding someone in jail for 6 days is very bad.”

I agree. Mr. Florence should definitely sue the authorities who were responsible for the bad recordkeeping that resulted in a six-day jail stay for a fine that should have been shown as paid in the system and should have never resulted in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Also, keep-in-mind that traffic violations that many may think of as not necessarily being all that serious (offenses like DUI, driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, speeding more than 30 mph over the speed limit, expired license, expired registration, operating a vehicle with no insurance, etc) while not necessarily felonies, are considered to be somewhat serious offenses in the eyes of the law, especially DUI, which the law considers to be an equivalent to pointing a loaded handgun at someone considering how much harm an impaired driver can do to others.

Heck, I’ve even seen people go to PRISON for being habitual traffic violators because of numerous violations that didn’t even involve DUI, just being ticketed multiple times for speeding, driving without insurance, having fender benders without insurance, etc….just plain stupid crap.

I know a woman who is an Iraq War Veteran who is facing three years in prison for being a habitual traffic violator. No DUIs, she just basically had her license suspended for driving without insurance about eight years ago and never bought insurance or had her license reinstated and kept getting pulled over for speeding and driving without license or insurance and even had a few accidents without insurance repeatedly….just plain boneheaded stuff.

Doug Deal April 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

The problem here is not about strip searches, it is about over use of jail and police custody. There is virtually no reason to jail anyone for minor “crimes” involving traffic stops. If someone doesn’t show up for court, put a lien on their vehicle for the full amount of the fine. Case closed.

The tactic of taking the necessity of travel and then calling it a privilege so they can use any excuse as justification for evading the Constitution is a disgrace for a “free” society.

John Konop April 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Doug,

I agree it is a waste of jail space and tax payer money to lock people up for the minor violations, but if your kid, wife…..was strip searched for traffic tickets, jay walking……..you would have a different attitude. BTW the state can garnish wages…………….to get the fines paid.

The Last Democrat in Georgia April 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm

“There is virtually no reason to jail anyone for minor “crimes” involving traffic stops. If someone doesn’t show up for court, put a lien on their vehicle for the full amount of the fine. Case closed.”

Driving without a license, an expired license, expired tag, no insurance are all serious enough offenses in which someone shouldn’t even be behind the wheel and out on the road if they fit into any of those categories.

Not showing up for court/failure-to-appear is a pretty serious offense as it should be. Placing liens on the vehicles of people that fail to appear in court without the threat of arrest could basically allow them not to appear until they feel like it, if at all which is unacceptable.

People should be compelled to show up for court as violations of law, both criminal and civil, and legal concerns should be treated with the seriousness that the situation demands.

As unpleasant as it may be, people just can’t be allowed to blatantly disregard the law by not showing up to court because they don’t feel like it or for whatever reason, no matter how valid the reason may seem.

If the law did not or could not compel people to show up in court to answer the charges against them, even for relatively minor offenses, then we basically wouldn’t have much law.

Even though travel is a necessity, there still must be laws that govern how that travel is done on a public road and there still must be something that compels drivers to follow those laws, otherwise there would be anarchy, with drivers doing 100 miles-per-hour on busy streets and making left turns from the right lane across multiple lanes of oncoming traffic whenever and wherever they felt like it, etc.

The Constitution protects against “unreasonable search and seizure”, i.e. search and seizure without probable cause.

But ANY violation of the law no matter how seemingly minor it may be (and a resulting arrest on some of the more serious charges we’ve discussed here today, like failing to appear in court, driving without proper documents, etc) is probable cause for seemingly unreasonable search and seizure. That’s why they’re called LAWS, because there are consequences to violating them, no matter how minor the violation may seem.

Harry April 3, 2012 at 11:03 am

This is an amazing video on life from conception to birth using the newest x-ray scanning technology, which won these guys the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a video that every person should see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=fKyljukBE70

Baker April 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

So, the continuing watering down of the “Tea Party” name continues. The ‘Peach Tea Party’ is about to make the work of the other groups in this state that much harder to connect with a broader group of voters. A little birdie told me the ‘Peach Tea Party’ is a GRTL offshoot.

http://savannahnow.com/news/2012-04-01/abortion-bill-hit-home-state-rep-ron-stephens#.T3soDvAV269
Group targeting Savannah Republican because he’s not in favor of forcing women to carry out ‘medically futile’ pregnancies. That article is a good primer on the distance between moderate pro-Life and zealot pro-Life.

Charlie April 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm

All in good time my friend. All in good time.

peachstealth April 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I hope this is an open thread cuz that’s how I’m treating it.

The Price Of Gasoline
This morning the price of gasoline here is up another 10 cents to $3.92. I though back to when I started driving in the early 60’s and remembered being able to buy it for a quarter a gallon. Then I realized the quarters back then were silver so I looked up he melt value of pre 1965 coins. I was rather astonished to find that a 1948-1963 Franklin and the 1964 Kennedy half dollar have a melt value of $11.94, A 1934-1964 Washington quarter has $5.97 worth of silver in it while the silver in a 1946-64 Roosevelt dime is worth $2.39.
Then it hit me. The price of gas isn’t up. If we still had silver coins it would be selling for between 16 and 17 cents a gallon. The value of our money has been destroyed.

Harry April 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Yep. Think in terms of gold and silver spot price and it will retain your sanity.

Comments on this entry are closed.