A judge in Montana has ruled that suspects with Multiple Personality Disorder need to have their Miranda rights read separately to each personality.

Still, it may not matter. A case before the Supreme Court concerns a man who was riding his bike through a field where police were questioning someone suspected of selling drugs. Police ordered the man, Oliviero Martinez, to stop. When one cop found Martinez had a small knife used for cutting strawberries in a sheath on his belt, he decided to wrestle him to the ground. The cop’s partner allegedly saw Martinez reaching towards the cop’s gun, so he shot him five times—in the eyes, spine and legs. (Martinez is now permanently blind and paralyzed.)

The controversial bit is that while Martinez was screaming in agony in the ambulance, and later in the emergency room, the cop continued aggressively questioning him, and didn’t bother reading him his Miranda rights at any point. The cop eventually persuaded Martinez to agree that he was reaching for the gun, and that the shootings were justified, at which point the interrogation ended.

The Justice Department has filed a friend-of-court briefing saying that since Martinez was never charged with any kind of crime on the basis of the extracted testimony, the whole thing was completely OK.

The city has refused to pay any of Martinez’s medical bills.

Legal news:

REUTERS: Jack Ass says “Jackass” has given him a bad name.

A Montana man who legally changed his name to “Jack Ass” in 1997 has sued media giant Viacom Inc., claiming its stunt-heavy, gross-out TV show and movie “Jackass” had defamed his character.

In a suit filed in November in Montana and posted this week on a legal Web site, Jack Ass, who said he changed his name to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and responsible choices, claimed Viacom was “liable for injury to my reputation that I have built and defamation of my character which I have worked so hard to create.”

The suit asks for damages of $10 million or more. Jack Ass is representing himself.

Jack Ass, a journeyman power lineman by trade, said he changed his name from Bob Craft in late 1997 as part of a personal crusade against drunk driving after his brother and a friend were killed in a car crash. Theirs was the only vehicle involved.[…]

Jack Ass runs a Web site (www.andiass.com) centered around a donkey-like cartoon character “Andi Ass,” which touts T-shirts, baseball caps, souvenir beer bottles and a message of responsible drinking.

He also runs a not-for-profit service called Hearts Across America (www.heartsacrossamerica.org) that sells heart-shaped markers to be placed at the sites of fatal accidents involving drivers or power line workers, and for use in memorializing dead pets.

“I really want to emphasize the importance of this work,” he told Reuters.