It is undeniable that anyone arrested on suspicion of a crime has the right to be treated fairly and humanely while in police custody. The United States Supreme Court, however, has recently limited just what those rights are when it recently decided that jails and police can strip-search anyone arrested on any charge before sending the suspect to jail. While some law enforcement officials may have reason to suspect someone accused of a violent crime of having contraband, the Supreme Court has held that police no longer need to have any suspicions whatsoever that a person has a weapon or drugs before strip-searching him or her.
There are certain rights that every American can claim, rights that protect everyone. One of those rights, a right that is so fundamental to the American criminal law system that it colors how police do their jobs, is the right against unreasonable search and seizure. In order to ensure that no one is humiliated or embarrassed in a criminal investigation, police must follow strict rules regarding searches, rules that many people in Maryland and Washington, D.C., might expect school officials to follow as well. Sadly, in one school's quest to keep the school drug-free, it seems as if a vice-principal has crossed the line between reasonable and unreasonable search.
Anyone who has been arrested before can tell you that it's a terrifying experience. To be put in jail while police figure out what to do with you is not only nerve-wracking, but humiliating. It is customary in many jails for newly admitted suspects to be strip-searched in order to look for weapons or contraband. While it may be reasonable to think that some suspects could be violent or have a weapon, someone arrested after a traffic violation or the failure to pay a fine should not be subjected to such an invasive and embarrassing procedure.