ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings: May 18 – Sacramento, July 20 – Berkeley [details]
April 20 Meeting Audio [Listen / Download]

Emotional Support Group Meetings – Los Angeles:  Apr 27  [details]

ACSOL Conference June 14/15 in Los Angeles

National

WI: Wearing a GPS monitoring bracelet is not punishment, court says

GPS monitoring bracelets are not punishment. Oh, I’m sure they suck. They might chafe. They could cause blisters. They will cramp your style, keep you out of swimming pools, cause a funny-looking bulge in your nylons, spoil your suntan, tether you to a power source for an hour a day.

They’ll subject you to derision — or worse. And they’re an enormous invasion of your privacy: Someone will always know where you are, and if you take off the monitor, they’ll come after you. But a monitoring bracelet is not punishment. The state court of appeals says so. Full Article

Opinion

Join the discussion

  1. AJ

    This shouldn’t take too long for a reasonable court to strike it as unconstitutional–once he’s off parole/probation. I guess he’s such a risk that we need to track him for life, but no problem letting him roam. This paranoia is absolutely ridiculous.

    Apparently, as long as the legislature says it’s not punishment, it’s not punishment. This country is such a mess. One of these days we’ll manage to make everyone and everything perfect, I’m sure. That certainly seems to be what our culture thinks possible.

    The op-ed was a bit circumspect in it’s point, but the author does seem to think this is a bridge too far. Thanks to God these voices are speaking up more and more!

    –AJ

    • This helps the public protection how?

      Is there an app for that? Meaning, can you in real time in public as a member of the public find an RC wearing a GPS anklet (their words) and make sure you and yours run away from them? Sounds like this is for LE only so they can ask where you were at such and such day and time (which they would know supposedly) because I don’t see how they can protect the public in real time.

      Would be funny to see one of them start to talk into it like a Dick Tracy watch from back in the day.

      This is unconstitutional at its core.

  2. T

    Why does the court really need the GPS system, if what they claim to do is not punishment?

    • newby

      Because they can…..

    • AJ

      Why do they also make him register, if they can see what he’s doing all the time anyway? The GPS “radio collar” cuts out the “middle man” of a member of the public telling on him. Registering serves little additional purpose beyond humiliation and shaming. They’re simply trying to give him public shaming as a bonus. But no, that would be punitive, so that absolutely cannot be it….

      –AJ

      • Lovecraft

        Very good point AJ. Even though getting this ruling overturned should be a slam dunk, if the statement about not needing to be registered was brought up vs using gps in a court setting Im sure they would quickly abandon the notion about gps not being punishment. Oh what a delicious morsel this would be along with the packingham verdict for a likely doe v synder showdown in the scotus.

      • Timmr

        Yes, I’m convinced, their brains stopped at the amoeba stage. Why isn’t it easier to win this?

  3. AlexO

    If it doesn’t allow you to live life in a manner of a normal citizen, it’s punishment. Period. I don’t care what the court rules. I 110% guarantee that anyone on the receiving end, including these judges that rule to the contrary, would think otherwise. This needs to get to SCOTUS.

  4. Edie

    If laws are so damn Draconic that they have to track you, which IS punishment past prison and probation, then at least come up with a device that doesn’t produce visual stigmas, prevent engaging in any kind of water sports, let alone a simple bath soak. Locked Apple Watch? Embedded chip? Here in California, guys wear shorts year round. The visual of a monitor further extends the punishment they have already endured, especially if it was prison. This law needs to be challenged. Lawsuits need to happen. Jessica’s Law needs to go away. Do you see convicted murderers, arsonists, extortionists, etc. exposing themselves to the public by wearing ankle monitors??? Let’s challenge this, people!!

    • Nicholas Maietta

      I have full GPS devices the size of a thumbnail which can run for days on a single lightweight and small battery, internet connected and cost $60. Cellular data costs around $4 per month across all carriers. No buying powers or contracts needed and more functional than GPS bracelet manufacturers advertise theirs.

      Again, why do they have to be charged constantly, bulky and locked to 1 cellular network? It’s a massive scam that benefits only the manufacturers who played on predictor panic and continued the fearmongering until they got what they wanted.

      Luckily the days of instilling fear with the public about sex offenders.. those days are numbered. Once SCOTUS solves some big headaches, it’s like gay rights.. suddenly sex offenders are no big deal and the focus will have to go somewhere else.

      • Edie

        Who or what entity makes the decisions on GPS manufacturers? Is it the CA S.O. Mgmt Board? With all of the current technology, especially out of the silicon valley, can’t we find a more reasonable device that doesn’t have the scarlet letter factor attached, if the darn things must be worn? Getting rid of them altogether, or at least requiring only on a case by case basis, seems in order….

        • John4

          Hey folks here’s a good story regarding GPS. http://law.justia.com/cases/new-jersey/supreme-court/2014/a-94-11.html

        • Simple connection?

          “We now affirm. Parole is a form of punishment under the Constitution. Sex Offender Monitoring Act (SOMA) is essentially parole supervision for life by another name.”

          Is this not applicable to the registry also since it is monitoring where you live, work, etc electronically (Internet) and paper every 90 days? Would that not make the registry punishment also? Is the connection that simple?

        • Start them young or near the end

          How much of this unit is actually the GPS receiver/technology and the other part just the shell?

          I just found this and had to chuckle “This is a small Ankle Bracelet GPS unit (the size of a large watch) that is ideal for tracking Teens, law offenders/prisoners, for keeping track of an Alzheimer patients or children.” Only for $271!!

          Now, I recommend every young person in CA (as an example) under the age of 18 be outfitted with one of these starting around the time they crawl until they reach 18. If they decide to have underage sex with consent, you will know where they could have possibly committed the crime!

          At the same time, you need outfit grandma/grandpa or other elderly persons with one too starting at the age of say 60 so they can be found should they wonder off on their own. Like they are going to voluntarily wear this.

      • New Person

        odd… isn’t inflicting any type of injury something that the registry is not supposed to do? Sure, it’s a rash or blister, but now that’s venturing into corporal punishment.

        It’s as if we’re not humans. Rashes, blisters, take away an hour of their time… Remember the saying, “Time is money?” Well, they’re forcing a person to remove one hour of their lives away from their normal day. It’s community service every day!

        There’s that word again… “service”. Forced service upon a free person.

  5. Jorge

    If it’s not punishment, then why is it attached to probation statutes ? At least here in Florida, a probation sentence IS a punishment and every condition attached to it (including GPS) is indeed part of the punishment. I remember reading that in the Florida penal codes and statutes when I was still in jail years ago and was about to begin my probation sentence with the mandatory electronic shackle attached (been done with that for a while by the way). But, that was even quoted/stated by a few judges in tiny fine print when reading the FL penal code statutes.

    It seems like they want to move -little by little- all the probation conditions(legal punishment) towards a lifetime post-probation sentence (illegal punishment). A county here in Florida suggested the State do pass something similar about 2 years ago or so and the idea just evaporated once it reached the Capital.

    Can’t have your cake and eat it too. Not as long as we have a constitution. Even if you get away with it and it is applied. At some point sooner or later, it will be struck down. Clearly unconstitutional.

  6. David

    Do I understand correctly: it will cause public stigma, restricts physical activity, can cause physical pain (chaffing and blisters), but it is NOT punishment??
    Perhaps SCOTUS could apply the “duck test”: it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, ….. etc!

  7. 4sensiblepolicies

    Sounds simple enough. If it isn’t punishment, then it is simply a civil remedy. Therefore they could attach a GPS for any myriad of reasons – such as for owing the government money. It should stand to reason that the government would want to know where you are if you owe them money.
    Without a doubt, however, it won’t pass the stink test if they start applying gps in to non-sex offender applications. Suddenly it will become punitive again. And if it is punishment for one group, it is punishment for the other – even if the court doesn’t care for that group and wants to play loose with the Constitution.

  8. AJ

    So let’s get this straight…it’s unconstitutional (4th Amendment) for LE to attach a GPS tracker to someone’s vehicle without a warrant, and cannot exceed said warrant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Jones_(2012)), but they can be attached to a human being and it’s fine. Does anyone else see how screwed up things are here? There are some judges who have zero knowledge of constitutional law, and apparently don’t care to seek any guidance on it.

    I’d think this person in WI could drop the Jones opinion on the table during appeal and win handily.

    –AJ

  9. Tired Of Hiding

    I am sure they would say the same thing about the metal collar slaves had to wear a hundred years ago.

    One would think that things would have changed in that time but not to those people. So treating people like objects or cattle is fine with them…

    So it’s not punishment – why? Because they say it’s not! Logical right!

    NO

Leave a Reply

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  • Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  • Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  • Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  • We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  • Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  • Please do not post in all Caps.
  • If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  • We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  • We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  • Please choose a user name that does not contain links to other web sites
  • Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer this question to prove that you are not a robot *

.