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Should a person, upon being taken into custody, have a right to privacy?

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:21 PM
Original message
Should a person, upon being taken into custody, have a right to privacy?
The first time this struck as more than one of those small issues of the sort I imagine many of us tend to ignore was when John "Cloak The Statue's Tits in Blue" Ashcroft called Steven Hatfill a "person of interest" in the anthrax killer case, effectively ruining the man's life. The feds later settled with Hatfill to the tune of many, many taxpayer bux.

Today, some kid from Middletown, CT was taken into custody on a body search warrant in the case of the Yale student who was found murdered. He was described as a person of interest, but has subsequently been released.

He may or may not be guilty. That is not the issue here.

The issue is: should he have to suffer having his name made public and his image splashed all over the world as a de facto murder suspect before he is, in fact, so named?

Or, does he have a right to privacy up until the time he is actually charged - or at least arrested?

I am sure there's law on this, but I'm asking more about what is morally right.

I think his name, and the names of anyone else, for that matter, should have been kept out of the public eye until such time as he is actually arrested and charged.



What do you think?
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have to agree with you. Being named a "person of interest" can have a
devastating effect on the life of innocent people. I immediately thought of Richard Jewell who was named a person of interest in the bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta.

Despite having never been charged, he underwent what was considered by many to be a "trial by media" with great toll on his personal and professional life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Jewell
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Thank you! I was trying to think of other examples. Jewell is the perfect example.
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Zywiec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. I agree with you and wish the police had some shred of decency. n/t
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well, this guy would have certainly agreed with you



Except he is dead now.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. We have lost any privacy rights many years ago. Sad to say. I believe
that a person is innocent until proven other wise. Saying "Person of Interest" is like saying the man is guilty before he is even has a lawyer.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. No, the slippery slope of controlling the media
We all take that risk, among others, that maybe we'll be falsely accused. But it's better than the alternatives. At least in theory the press is free and can publish in sympathy with us when we are cleared.

That's why we should never have anything so final as the death penalty.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. What was he guilty of that he deserves public ridicule?
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:06 PM by ThomWV
They did nothing wrong, no court convicted them, so why should they be subject to public ridicule?
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. In instances like this, I remember Richard Jewell who was a suspect and later exonerated
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:11 PM by OmmmSweetOmmm
of the Atlanta bombing. What that innocent man went through was awful.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. there's a problem of people being "disappeared" if the police reports are not public
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 04:28 PM by pitohui
i won't comment on stephen hatfill, i think he did what he was paid to do and the game played out exactly as it was intended there -- he got millions for playing his role, and he only pretended to be harassed, it was an obvious shell game

as for the young man arrested today, many of us, even on DU have been arrested and/or detained for things we didn't do

the problem is being secretly arrested or detained leads to abuses, would you really want say your boyfriend to be whisked away secretly w.out your knowledge or any public report or any way to find out what had happened

at the end of the day i think detentions/questionings/arrests have to be a matter of public record that the public can keep an eye on -- otherwise it would be too easy to abuse and "secret" arrests/accusations could become an easy way of harassment

as it is, i think police have it too easy to question/detain/arrest and if they could do it under a cloak of secrecy i think they could really threaten vulnerable people

my mind is not fixed on this, i'm open to your point of view

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Good points, all
Food for thought.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
11. I am in complete agreement.
The system of justice in the country is beyond repair. From releasing names to bullying "suspects". And, yes, I have a chip on my shoulder over these things.
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. If you are arrested and not charged for a felony, they don't
even take that record off of the NCIS. You have to get a lawyer and pay big dollars to get it removed and even then you may not be successful.
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