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IA: Warrantless Search of Sex Offender’s Mobile Phone OK

The warrantless search of a sex offender’s mobile phone at a supervised release facility was constitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held Aug. 10. Full Article

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  1. KM

    Supervised release. What’s the controversy? Seems to me the guy has impulse control issues and probably belongs in custody anyway.

  2. AJ

    I’m unsure why this rates as a topic on here. The man had contraband (phone) in a supervised release facility. Just like anyone on parole/probation, his stuff is subject to warrantless searches.

    What I find ironic, is that it seems the only reason this topic got posted was because it had to do with a RC. This isn’t a whole lot different than other stories that needlessly point out someone is a RC (the 81 y.o. suicide is a prime example). Personally, I see no story here…and am surprised it went so high in the courts.

    • Bob Loblaw

      In iowa a warrant is needed, and has been needed to search people on probation and parole since 2014. They have the same right to privacy and expectation of privacy as someone that hasn’t committed a crime.

  3. T

    Our government is deviating around the constitution so they can have the authorization to scrutinize registered citizens and invade their privacy as if they have something to hide, and do this to show as proof of the “high recidivism rate” of registered citizens and sending them back to prison. Correct me if I’m wrong but internet crimes and sex crimes are two different things right?

  4. AlexO

    I’m also confused how this is an issue.

    Three years ago when my sentence was finalized I had a blanket okay to search whatever while I was on supervision. Then about half way into my 3 years of probation I had to go back to court because apparently some ruling came down that allowed for search of various computer devices (including the phone) without a warrant. I, along with everyone else, was surprised that we had to go back to court to modify our sentence to now explicitly allow warrantless search of our devices was allowed; we all already assumed that was how it was.

    So, again, I fail to see how this is an issue?

    • AJ

      Was your needing to go back to court for further clarification perhaps on the heels of a SCOTUS ruling ( If so, they may have done it just to ensure all t’s were crossed and i’s dotted in your supervision.

      • @AJ

        Thanks for that clarification. I was confused as to why they went back and furthered the punishment it appears. Not saying what they did falls under what you wrote, but it would make sense if it is to clean up the situation and not actually further it.

      • AlexO

        Yes, I think that was exactly it. Like I said though, we all assumed that was already the case. It always takes that one person to find that technicality to throw a wrench into the whole thing lol

  5. Timmr

    I guess the point is that the one who challenges the rule is the one with the illegal pictures on his phone. The hundreds or thousand who have their phones searched and there is nothing illegal to be found, why is there nothing to challenge then?

  6. Harry

    This guy was very poor candidate for a court case. He or his family must of had money. This is kind of a guy makes it hard on RC’s.

  7. MatthewLL

    It was the byline of the article. No controversy here. This guy was an idiot and deserved what he got. After given one grace for having his phone in the corrections facility, he does it again. Second, to have child porn on it it has to put him on an IQ level with Trump. Blame Bloomberg for the incorrect article caption.

  8. Registry Rage

    So they no longer need probable cause or reasonable suspicion? This is exactly why I don’t own a cell phone, which probably pisses them off because it’s one less thing they can pilfer through and track me with.

    • kind of living

      I don’t think it makes them mad at all , I am sure that many of the LEO’s think its great that you live in fear of their watered down justice ,( and some that are also glad because they spent the night searching porn on other peoples phone getting feathers in their funny little caps {Joking} 🙂 , , but on the real side no matter how unsettling it may be that guy could find nothing better to do online than look at boring crap on his phone rather than the many things that are truly amazing things to look at and read , often people take for granted the ability to read / listen to music ect , but all the same it feels over reaching for law enforcements need to know what’s on your privet phone as well as a blank check to search with out a warrant “parole or not” ,in blind hopes of catching someone in the blind , I seen some article a year or so back that someone was working on software that will be available that can read all of your files and never touch your device for FBI / Cops , is it legal ? lol ,, crazy man ! whats next read our minds as we sleep or when we are all hanging out at the ice cream shop in our trench coats lol (I stole that part from AJ lol)

    • AJ

      @Registry Rage:
      Nope, not when under supervision, as this guy was. That’s true regardless the offense, sexual or otherwise. Completely standard probation/parole requirement. That’s the compromise one accepts in exchange for being in society or limited release, and not behind bars.

      • AlexO

        Yup. As someone once said to me in regards to probation/parole: You’re still in jail, just on a longer leash.

  9. Happy, joyous and free

    Supervised release facility pretty much covers warrantless searches anyway. Adding phones to the list via court action was to quash any form of future legal challenge. The same rules apply when you are on probation, you have to let the police or your PO into your residence.

    This guy is an idiot and is in deep denial of what he needs to be working on to succeed. Impulse issues is an understatement. That being said, this particular case will be used against us to show that we cannot be released, trusted or even be redeemed in the larger issue of public safety.

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