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NC: Court Determines GPS Tracking Devices Unconstitutional

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the state government’s requirement that registrants wear a GPS tracking device is an unreasonable search which violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s decision is based upon the state government’s failure to prove that GPS tracking is “effective to serve the State’s interest in protecting the public against sex offenders.”

“This is a courageous and wise decision,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “Our hope is that courts throughout the nation will choose to follow it.”

In its decision, the Court stated that unless GPS “is found to be effective to actually serve the purpose of protecting against recidivism by sex offenders, it is impossible for the State to justify the intrusion of continuously tracking an offender’s location for any length of time, much less for thirty years.” The registrant in the case was required to wear a GPS device for a total of thirty years.

Also in its decision, the Court noted that “the continuous and dynamic location data gathered by (GPS) is far more intrusive than the static information gathered as a result of sex offender registration.” The Court also noted that GPS data reflects details about a registrant’s familial, political, professional, religious and sexual associations.

Further, the Court noted that it had criticized the state government in a prior case for its lack of empirical evidence to support the premise that GPS use protects the public from sex offenders. In addition, the Court cited favorably a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that social science, scientific research, or legislative findings were required in order to uphold another type of sex offender law.

Decision

Related Media

http://amp.sacbee.com/news/article216246910.html

http://my40.tv/news/local/new-nc-court-ruling-against-sex-offender-tracking-devices-has-mixed-reactions

 

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This case is special since it came out of NC

Is there any evidence to support that any part of the SOR works?

Wow! This is great! And the court’s reason is excellent:  “The Court’s decision is based upon the state government’s failure to prove that GPS tracking is ‘effective to serve the State’s interest in protecting the public against sex offenders.’ ” 👍
Now, if they would just rule that the Registry is unconstitutional and does not serve the State’s interest in protecting the public against sex offenders!! 👍

What a win! Massachusetts and North Carolina this week!

Here’s the absolute best part of this:

“In addition, the Court cited favorably a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that social science, scientific research, or legislative findings were required in order to uphold another type of sex offender law.”

“In addition, the Court cited favorably a recent decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which held that social science, scientific research, or legislative findings were required in order to uphold another type of sex offender law.”

This should be carved in stone and embedded behind 10″ of bullet proof glass for SO laws and every other knee-jerk law that further curtails peoples rights and criminalizes completely crime free actions.

I am waiting for
“The Court’s decision is based upon the state government’s failure to prove that Megan’s Law is ‘effective to serve the State’s interest in protecting the public against sex offenders.’ ”

Can this happen?

What do we need to do to make this happen?

This is great news. My wife wanted us to move to NC but we decided against it since the police claimed I would have to wear one. Let’s see, I’ve been out over 10 years for a nearly 20 year old sentence and all of a sudden I need to wear a monitor!? No thanks! I have kids and it’s bad enough they have to put up with my current registry nonsense let alone adding something else!

This case is definitely special. I loved the part where to court said the State had one chance to prove the offender was a candidate for wearing GPS. Absent evidence presented by the State at the trial court, the appeals court vacated the order to wear GPS and they will not have another chance to put an ankle bracelet on him.

Another point from the decision I think is interesting. The Court said they do not rely on the Static 99 alone, that there needs to be other evidence to show the offender is a risk to the community. This is great

Yes, this is indeed special since it came out of NC. I wonder if the State Supreme Court will take and f*** it up.

The guy in Raleigh who monitors the bracelets said today that offenders have to petition the courts. Why since it is unconstitutional. Total crap

Janice, what can we do and who must we gather to bring the case of unconstitutionality of GPS monitoring to the California courts? We are a powerful state, with powerful stories, high tech resources, and very persuasive people. The restrictions the damn anklet poses on parolees is an unjust extension of their incarceration. Now, it’s E-carceration. The campaign to eliminate this draconian process needs to start now!

Hi Janice, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin recently ruled GPS was constitutional. Would these splits be grounds for a SCOTUS appeal.
Sorry if my legal phraseology is off, but I hope you understand my question.
State v Muldrow

Also in 2016 Seventh Circuit Judge Posner ruled GPS was constitutional and only regulatory

Supreme Court Says Lifetime GPS Monitoring Of Sex Offenders May Be Unconstitutional
from the slowly-restoring-the-Fourth dept

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150404/19380730550/supreme-court-says-lifetime-gps-monitoring-sex-offenders-may-be-unconstitutional.shtml

There is a link to the opinion itself.

I have a GPS question… unfortunately I have one on. It states on my terms and conditions that GPS monitoring is discretionary by a Probation Officer. My charge was PC 288.4 (b), and nothing else, my Stactic 99 was 0, and I’ve never been in trouble prior to this event. It’s been nearly two years, I’ve had no violations. Anyways, I’ve noticed that there’s other RCs in my RC class that don’t have one on, even though their terms and conditions are the same as I mine, actually everyone in the room had the exact same terms. I’ve asked all my probation officers I’ve ever had if I can get it removed? They’ve all said No, stating that San Bernardino County requires all RCs to wear one regardless of your charges and risk levels. Why is this? I can’t remember if I read it on this site or not but I thought blanket terms and conditions were unconstitutional? Anyways, I’m moving to LA County in another year where you don’t have to where a GPS.

More media related to this decision:

NC court: No proof public safer when sex offenders tracked

http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20180808/nc-court-no-proof-public-safer-when-sex-offenders-tracked

“Judge Wanda Bryant disagreed, saying it expands the state’s burden of demonstrating the risk of a sex-offender repeating his crimes.

“By requiring our trial courts to find the efficacy of (satellite-based monitoring) in curbing sex offender recidivism in order to satisfy Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches in the context of (satellite-based monitoring), the majority would impose a standard other than is required by Fourth Amendment jurisprudence,” Bryant wrote in her dissent.”

Wanda, Wanda, Wanda – a clerk can do the research for the courts or one of the lawyers can bring it with them so show the court the inefficacy of such action.

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