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Name: Demery v. Arpaio
Case #: 03-15698
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/06/2004

Installation of web cameras in a pretrial detention facility violates the due process rights of detainees under the Fourteenth Amendment. An Arizona sheriff installed cameras in a county jail facility used exclusively to house pretrial detainees. The cameras streamed images to a website where the detainees could be viewed by anyone with internet access and a web browser. The sheriff made public statements indicating that the cameras were intended to deter crime as well as to allow the public to see the inside of the jail facility. In reviewing a preliminary injunction against the sheriff, the Ninth Circuit first decided that the detainees’ claims were not mooted by their release from the facility, because several of them had been arrested multiple times and the alleged due process violation was likely to recur. The court next found that the use of the cameras harmed the detainees by causing them public humiliation. Finally, the court found that use of the cameras violated due process because it was an impermissible punishment imposed on those who had not yet been convicted of any crime, and no compelling state interest aside from punishment justified their use.