Court: Paralyzing Man During Drug Search Violated Rights
Police suspected that a man named Felix Booker 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 Booker’s rectum. At trial, Booker was convicted on a federal drug charge—possession with intent to distribute—and sentenced to five years in prison.
Booker’s lawyer argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that the search went too far, and a panel on Monday agreed. In a divided ruling, the court reversed Booker’s drug conviction, concluding that the invasive search violated the Fourth Amendment.