Posts Tagged ‘Devyani Khobragade’

Strip searches are merely justice, American-style

December 19, 2013

I was shocked when I read how Devyani Khodbragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York City, was handcuffed and strip-searched after being arrested on a charge of underpaying her maid.

She hadn’t been convicted of any crime, so why subject her to this degradation and humiliation?  What did they think she was concealing on her person?  Why not simply serve her with a summons to appear in court?

But it turns out that she was not singled out for bad treatment.  Strip searches and body cavity searches are now standard operating procedure for anybody arrested on a criminal charge, no matter what.    She merely experienced simply the impersonal working of the American criminal justice system as it now is.  We Americans should ask ourselves whether this is the kind of criminal justice system we want.

I do not think the charge is trivial.  If she brought a servant from India and kept her in virtual servitude, this is a serious matter.  But the facts in this case are in dispute, so I stick to the legal principle of presumption of innocence unless there is proof of guilt.


Protests in India