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Straaaaange cases: does paralyzing man during search violate Constitutional rights?

By JohnnyZ on August 30, 2013//Leave a comment

Here is a question for our recent bar exam takers, just to keep you from losing any of the sharpness you have gained from bar studies:

 

FACTS:  Doug Drugge was concealing contraband inside his body. They arrested him on a drug charge and later, against his will, a doctor paralyzed him for eight minutes to take a look. The doctor found a piece of rock cocaine, a little more than five grams’ worth, in Drugge’s rectum. At trial, Drugge was convicted on a federal drug charge—possession with intent to distribute—and sentenced to five years in prison.

 

QUESTION: Would Justice Scalia recognize the right of a lawfully detained suspect who, while attempting to hide some kind of contraband by swallowing it, and is thereby worked on by a licensed medical doctor to find said evidence, unfortunately paralyzing suspect for less than ten measly minutes during this search, to not be paralyzed by said officers of the law?

 

DISCUSS!  What rights did Drugge have under the Constitution?  What rights did Drugge have if the search was conducted in Puerto Rico? What precedent would Justice Scalia likely use to reason his decision? Given the cocaine was found in Drugge’s rectum, what are the chances that anyone would have wanted to smoke it anyway?

 

Contact Mike Scarcella at mscarcella@alm.com  to find out more…or check it out for yourself here at the Drugs Forum / News / Justice and Law.

 

 

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This blog contains the personal opinions of the author, which do not necessarily reflect those of the San Diego Law Library, its Board of Trustees, or any other organization with which he is associated.

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