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View Diary: [UPDATED] The Manassas Sexting Case, and "Known Unknowns" (167 comments)

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  •  They're immune from prosecution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcstowy
    Arguably, both the prosecutor and judge are already guilty of conspiracy to commit sexual battery on a minor.
    Plus, what's been talked about doesn't even meet the statute in the first place because there is no "intent to sexually molest or arouse ... any person."

    Not to mention that all kinds of things done by police and prosecutors (and signed off by judges) would be criminal in other contexts - searching someone's person and home, locking people up, etc.

    •  Surely there are limits to that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      A prosecutor can't just shoot a prisoner for no reason without facing murder charges. So where's the line on what crimes they can commit and be immune? Can they rape a prisoner? Fondle a prisoner's genitals?

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:18:08 AM PDT

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      •  It's whether it's under "color of law". (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok

        And in this case, if a judge has already cleared it ...

        •  Any crime whatsoever? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mcstowy, Sparhawk, Kevskos, Johnny Q, nosleep4u

          The judge can say "execute this prisoner" and the prosecutor can do it and they're both immune? Nonsense.

          Immunity is not blanket and I think there's a strong argument that they shouldn't be immune for the crime of sexually abusing a minor.

          "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

          by jrooth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:30:00 AM PDT

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        •  This would be a good 4th Circuit case for that (0+ / 0-)
          It was also clearly established at the time of Harper's inaction that Debnam's conduct constituted a constitutional violation. The courts have consistently recognized the right to bodily integrity and the right to freedom from unlawful searches and seizures as provided under both the Fourteenth and Fourth Amendments. See Canedy v. Boardman, 16 F.3d 183, 185 (7th Cir. 1994) (explaining that "'the right to be free from strip searches and degrading body inspections is . . . basic to the concept of privacy'") (quoting 3 George B. Trubow, ed., Privacy Law and Practice, P 25.02[1] (1991)); Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 849, 120 L. Ed. 2d 674, 112 S. Ct. 2791 (1992) (explaining that "it is settled now . . . that the Constitution places limits on a State's right to interfere with a person's . . . bodily [*20]  integrity"); Winston v. Lee, 470 U.S. 753, 759, 84 L. Ed. 2d 662, 105 S. Ct. 1611 (1985) (explaining that "[a] compelled surgical intrusion into an individual's body for evidence . . . implicates expectations of privacy and security of such magnitude that the intrusion may be 'unreasonable' even if likely to produce evidence of a crime"); Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 772, 16 L. Ed. 2d 908, 86 S. Ct. 1826 (1966) (explaining that "the integrity of an individual's person is a cherished value of our society"); Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165, 172, 96 L. Ed. 183, 72 S. Ct. 205 (1952) (explaining that "illegally breaking into the privacy of the petitioner, the struggle to open his mouth and remove what was there, the forcible extraction of his stomach's contents . . . is bound to offend even hardened sensibilities"). Crediting plaintiff's complaint, Debnam's conduct would be considered a violation of both of these recognized rights.

          Pryor v. Debnam, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5868, 19-20 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 21, 1999)

          A NC case denying a Sec. 1983 Motion to Dismiss for Immunity by [police officer/supervisor] for unconstitutional body cavity roadside search for drugs.

          "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

          by stellaluna on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:32:19 AM PDT

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      •  There are always limits (1+ / 0-)

        That's part of what keeps lawyers in business.  And yes, it's not like the police, DAs and judges have a bubble of immunity for things that are outside the scope of their work.  (And the police have qualified immunity, which makes them and their agency subject to suits for violation of civil rights - excessive use of force, etc.).

        But a duly executed warrant isn't likely to subject the police, DA or judge to a suit, criminal or civil.

        •  Well that's just wrong if it's so. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, Johnny Q

          From my perspective, what happened in this case is that the prosecutor went to the judge and said in effect "I want to sexually batter this minor in order to obtain evidence" and the judge said "go ahead." That's not in any way different from the prosecutor saying "I want to beat this prisoner until he tells me where he hid the evidence" and the judge says "go ahead." (I was thinking of giving a more extreme example like raping his child in front of him but the point is the same - there has to be some point at which even judges are criminally liable.)

          "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

          by jrooth on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 10:48:52 AM PDT

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          •  Sounds like it's a moot point right now (0+ / 0-)

            Since they haven't done this and it's unclear whether they're going to proceed, unless I'm reading the updates incorrectly.

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