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NC: High court weighs if tracking sex offenders reasonable

North Carolina’s Supreme Court is re-evaluating whether forcing sex offenders to be perpetually tracked by GPS-linked devices, sometimes for the rest of their lives, is justified or a Constitution-violating unreasonable search.

The state’s highest court next month takes up the case of repeat sex offender Torrey Grady. It comes three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his case that mandating GPS ankle monitors for ex-cons is a serious privacy concern. Full Article

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  1. AJ

    The first paragraph makes it sound like NCSC has had an epiphany and *wants* to revisit this. Hardly. It’s sad that the Appellate court below NCSC understands the Constitution, but the NCSC either doesn’t, or doesn’t care if it’s violated regarding “those people.”

    I foresee this once again forcing the State to implement an individual risk assessment. That’s the recurrent theme I get from the various wins around the country. Maybe one of these days NC will wake up…but I doubt it.

    • TS

      @AJ

      So, about this case and the NC losing streak…it is at the NCSC level or the Fed Circuit Court level we are counting streaks? If the NCSC agrees with the Appellate Court, is it a win then? Does the loser then appeal to SCOTUS regardless of who wins?

      • AJ

        @TS:
        For me a win is any case where reasonable application of the Constitution and laws is applied. I don’t care about streaks, just progress. That can be in NC, or elsewhere. That can be in Federal Court, or State Court. Matters not one iota to me.

        Here, it appears to me SCOTUS has given NCSC another swing at it…before presumably hearing it again and *telling* NC the proper answer. I absolutely say NCSC agreeing with the Court of Appeals statement would be a win.

        Do you disagree?

        • David Kennerly's Glacial Progress

          AJ, it seems to me that our courts, and especially our “Supremes,” are inclined to mark progress in decades rather than in more justice-satisfying, unequivocal breaks with manifestly intolerable laws. It’s almost as if they derive some sort of deep satisfaction from playing with the lives and liberties of others, especially when those others are us, like Lucy pulling away her football at the last moment from a perpetually hopeful but ultimately deeply depressed Charley Brown. “Balancing” has come to be seen as establishing the maximum level of injustice that can be tolerated by the conscientious while still conveying the appearance of dispensing justice. One cannot help but compare today’s courts to the Warren Court of my childhood. It may be a child’s juvenile perception of justice but it seemed to me that its decisions came down hard, unequivocal and without regard for the illiberal sensibilities of the perpetually outraged. Those were very satisfying breaks with injustice which seemed only to set me up for a lifetime of disappointment, much as the 1960s, as a whole, was skewered with delight by Nixon and everyone who would attain real power that followed.

        • TS

          @AJ

          I’d like the NCSC to agree w/the lower court’s ruling. If it gets appealed then to SCOTUS, then so be it, but believe NCSC has a chance here to do the right Constitutional thing, which I, too, believe are the true wins as you state.

          @DK, Glacier Man

          Well said. I didn’t live in those times (a decade behind that), but see, understand, and agree with what you’re saying about blocks of times.

          The proverbial spoonful of sugar to balance things because society can’t take more than that instead of a bucket full of what really needs to happen comes to my mind. Almost like kid glove treatment because people can’t handle more. Maybe I’ve mixed metaphors here incorrectly but I believe my point’s made.

        • David Kennerly's Glacial Progress

          TS, Your metaphors are perfectly comprehensible. I think what I left out of my earlier plaintive lament was the sense that the Justices appear to take a perverse glee in wasting our lives. The whole system is designed to waste lives. It’s all waste-and-loss. Coated with a veneer of resolute probity.

        • James

          “TS, Your metaphors are perfectly comprehensible. I think what I left out of my earlier plaintive lament was the sense that the Justices appear to take a perverse glee in wasting our lives. The whole system is designed to waste lives. It’s all waste-and-loss. Coated with a veneer of resolute probity.”

          Dear David, I wish I had something to add…but I just felt what you said above deserves to be repeated. So I did…lol

          So depressively true it brings tears to my eyes…

          Thanks for the sobering analysis….sigh

          Best Wishes, James

        • AJ

          @DIK’s GP:
          It moves so slowly because courts, SCOTUS especially because it’s the end of the line, try to solve a constitutional ill with the lowest dose of medicine. That’s how you get such thinly decided and well-parsed Opinions such as Kennedy wrote in Masterpiece Cakes. This of course means only incremental changes…unless.

          The Packingham parenthetical makes me think SCOTUS sees an “unless” issue going on, that “unless” being Governments going apesh!t in their actions against RCs. As we all know, and I believe SCOTUS knows, things have gone weelllll beyond Smith. Indeed, IMO Smith may well have flipped the other way had in-person reporting been part of the scheme. To me, SCOTUS’ refusal to review Snyder* also points to their thinking things have gone too far. (I know, I know, cert denial doesn’t say legally anything.) I believe if SCOTUS gets its hands on a decent RC case it will push back in our favor…and not just glacially. I think Bethea and Boyd are decent on their own, but combined they would be even better. I so hope SCOTUS accepts and combines them, and their doing so would tell me they’re ready to open some whoop@ss on SORNA laws.

          As so many courts have turned to, I believe SCOTUS will eventually decide application of the many and varied SORNA disabilities cannot be implemented without an individualized risk assessment. I further believe they will rule in-person reporting as an affirmative disability, and thus punitive. If they so rule, the whole system becomes incredibly difficult for Governments to manage. (I’ll save that monograph for another time. 🙃)

          *I omitted Muniz, as its State-constitutional decision rendered moot anything SCOTUS could do, meaning they had zero reason to take it.

        • Notorious DIK, "My Ass Was Capped In A Legislative Drive-By"

          AJ, Thank you. That does, in fact, offer me some solace, coming from you. My original thinking (although hardly original) was that the tone of the courts began to undergo a massive shift in the 70s when court decisions began to be “balanced” against “victim’s rights,” as if victims had enhanced rights which no one else had or that they offered unique insights that somehow eluded experienced jurists. Now, of course, “victims” have to be consulted before you can be allowed to breathe. This makes our system more like tribal Afghani justice although one that’s clearly not as transparent or effective. Hell, sharia might actually be an improvement.

        • AJ

          Ahh yes, “victims rights.” I recall a day when that was called revenge. I guess a guilty verdict and its consequence wasn’t enough.

          Wait, who am I fooling? Obviously that last sentence doesn’t hold anymore, or else this site wouldn’t exist!

    • Registration Is Punishment

      Risk assessment instruments are troubling in that a lot of them — such as the Static-99R — are dishonestly sold as ’empirical,’ ‘scientific,’ and ‘validated,’ when said risk assessments lump all crimes and people together. Adding insult to injury, Static-99R does not even predict the type and severity of offense that MIGHT (but, even for the ‘highest’ scored, probably will not) occur in the future. Yes, it’s true, Static-99R is about as accurate as a flip of a coin. It’s easy to say that those with the lowest scores probably will not reoffend (since most registrants do not reoffend to begin with) — and then conflate said Scam-99R ‘accuracy’ figures to dilute how Scam-99R gives false positives to the people with ‘high’ scores. When all the figures are averaged, the illusion is that the Static-99R Scam is more accurate than it really is.

      Not to mention, at least with the Static-99R, the conflicts-of-interests in validation, as well as the ‘trade secret’ under which the Static-99R’s proprietary methodology and sample are able to hide under. In this sense, ‘Dr.’ Karl Hanson — no matter how disingenuous he and his fellow Static-99 ‘developers’ may be — will continue to win victories and gain alliances with other ‘experts’ who have failed to see (or who, for whatever baffling reason, have turned a blind eye to) what is clear corruption, funded by dark government, ‘treatment’ programs, as well as other unknown special interests.

      Unfortunately, Minority Report is here to stay.

      • David Kennerly's Ceaseless Torments

        Great observations but we must not say that “Minority Report is here to stay.” This remains to be seen and we must always act as if justice is possible. We don’t have a crystal ball but must advance through life assuming that our efforts can affect change because they can and they have.

      • Don’t tread on me

        I would submit that when risk assessment testing results mathematically approach the actual recidivism rate of all registrants then and only then could it be considered a valid assessment. Until that point in time every attempt at assessing registrants is nothing more than a tool for politicians and the media to use against us, Just my 2 cents…

      • Ricky Fitz

        I believe that the STATIC 99/R SCAM is a hell lot ***less*** accurate than a flip of a coin. Remember the suppressed study that the State of CA suppressed? For people with “high” scores, SCAM 99 was estimating 37 percent reoffense when the actual rate was about 6 percent. No lie, someone has a link to this. Also, logically, if even the SVP’s figures are exaggerated, what does it mean for the less serious offenders and offenses? How much more harm can Karl Hanson’s STATIC 99R do????? This is about politicians and dirty government bureaucrats pushing fake The Minority Report “science” at all cost!

  2. T

    As if we’re not headed toward the implanted micro-chip processor in humans.

  3. Dustin

    From State v. Griffin in the NC Court of Appeals:

    “The State tries to overcome its lack of data, social science
    or scientific research, legislative findings, or other
    empirical evidence with a renewed appeal to anecdotal case
    law, as well as to “logic and common sense.” But neither
    anecdote, common sense, nor logic, in a vacuum, is
    sufficient to carry the State’s burden of proof. ”

    That’s a direct quote from Doe v. Cooper in the 4th Circuit addressing premises restrictions. Not sure how the NC Supreme Court can overcome that reasoning. Think it would also be pretty hard to ignore it.

    • TS

      Thanks @Dustin for that quote from NCCOA. Let’s just hope that is in the paperwork sitting in front of the NCSC now for them to consider.

    • TS

      I am seeing this 4th Circuit and NCCOA quote making the rounds online in similar forums as this which brings a smile. Keep that one going is best so folks realize that stats as questioned in the new AZ petition to SCOTUS can be questioned in addition to other applicable court cases.

  4. David Higham

    I am glad that he was able to get the ACLU to represent him I tried to get the ACLU to help me fight the retroactively of the Adam Walsh act in Rhode island which is known as sorna but instead of helping me they turned it into me asking for help of a privacy issue instead of a constitutional issue.I gave them muniz vs the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and also Doe vs commonwealth of Massachusetts with no luck of them help!ng me but they are always asking me for Donations fat chance of me helping them.

  5. Eric

    Like everything in the probation system, they are only effective on the people who choose to cooperate. Just Google Christopher Pinkard of Detroit. He had an ankle monitor on when he went on a violent crime spree, got a gun, robbed people, car jacked two cars, pistol whipped a person, led police on a chase, charged with multiple violent felonies, all while wearing an ankle monitor. There are many such cases. Ankle monitors prevent good people from adapting in society, they do little to stop true criminals.

    • AJ

      “Like everything in the probation system, they are only effective on the people who choose to cooperate.”
      —–
      It’s not just in the probation world. There is not a single law in the world that can stop someone who has no fear of it or its repercussions. If I don’t care the consequences of my actions, years in prison or death by bullets will not stop me.

      Laws only work when they’re reasonably applied. Too soft, people ignore them; too stiff, people rebel in myriad ways, ranging from total disengagement to severe engagement such as Mr. Pinkard.

  6. JoeDoeNC

    @AJ When I was a small boy I watched my father. He was locking up with a chain and a padlock to a fence post his newly purchased camper. Since we lived in a very rural area I asked if that was supposed to keep someone from stealing it. My father with great wisdom replied “Son, I’m just keeping honest people honest”

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