Seventh Circuit Examines Lifetime GPS Tracking of Sex Offenders

[courthousenews.com – 9/18/20]

CHICAGO (CN) — The Seventh Circuit on Friday weighed the intrusiveness of a Wisconsin statute that institutes lifetime GPS monitoring of certain convicted sex offenders against the necessity of preventing further offenses from that particular class of criminals.

The underlying suit was first filed as a federal class action by eight registered sex offenders in March 2019. They argued that a 2017 statutory interpretation by former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel that broadened the class of sex offenders subjected to lifetime GPS monitoring after the completion of their sentences constitutes an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment, calling the tracking “an intrusive search that provides the government detailed, real-time data about a person’s every move.”

Individuals convicted of sex offenses on two or more occasions were already subject to GPS monitoring under Wisconsin law, but Schimel’s 2017 interpretation and the subsequent application of his guidance the following year applied GPS monitoring to anyone convicted of more than one count.

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Wow! This was a good read and hit upon the “empirical data”!

*** excerpt ***
Assistant Wisconsin Attorney General Jody Schmelzer argued on behalf of the state that “repeat child sex offenders impose an intolerable risk” against the most vulnerable members of society and posited that the relevant Wisconsin law survives constitutional scrutiny.

Hamilton pressed Schmelzer on whether there is current empirical data to back up the notion that GPS monitoring reduces the recidivism rates of certain sex offenders, saying that high levels of recidivism is “very convenient to use” to justify GPS monitoring, but wondered whether it could still survive constitutional analysis if those recidivism rates were disproven.

When Schmelzer admitted she did not have that data, Hamilton asked “wouldn’t that be helpful to know?”

“Presumably if this monitoring is serving a purpose, one would expect to see some empirical results,” Hamilton said.
*** excerpt ***

Hamilton put on blast how “very convenient to use” the notion of high levels of recidivism and the judge wanted to hear it as well.

“But Schmelzer mostly just offered that “we don’t want to diminish the state’s effort to protect children from these crimes” and that society has already determined that sex offenders have a reduced expectation of privacy.”

First and foremost, protecting children is a parental responsibility, not a government one. All the government can do prosecute crimes after they occur.

There was a similar case in North Carolina a couple years ago that was ruled in the petitioning registrant’s favor. The NCAG argued the same nonsense as here, along with the absurd claim that the program didn’t really provide much actionable information or something like that (though the court didn’t think to ask what the point of the state program was, if that were the case).

Just like registration, GPS monitoring does not prevent any type of crime from happening. Also the monitoring technology used is at best unreliable more often than it ought to be. There are reports (one is too many to begin with) of people on some form of supervision literally standing or sitting next to their probation officer or parole agent when the monitor malfunctions showing the person sometimes miles away (including at least one time in the Pacific Ocean). This is ignoring the fact that data shows the recidivism rate for sex offenses is one of the lowest among any offenses. The whole fear of sex offenders being more likely than anyone else to repeat past behavior doesn’t match with reality. Plus come on the link between non contact offenses and contact offenses has yet to be proven enough to where it should be a factor.

@ David.. They had a form of GPS monitoring or form of monitoring back in the sixties if you want to call it that, and before, only it wasn’t the most usable form of data. GPS is just a term or coined word. Look at AL Capone and they finely got him on Income tax evasion. This ordeal we are all going thru is not like this evasion thing.

Sure Dad lived thru that era and even told me stories growing up about it. This registry issue we are going thru is like Will Allen said a bunch of garbage in various ways and means. This GPS thing one should send it back and ask for maintaince fee’s back if one wants to go in that direction. Actually this registry is like wearing a straight jacket or did Will Allen overblow his money watching the movie Psycho, and yes Dad was a fan of Alfred Hitchcock.

Yes their are many reason’s why Rome fell but at times we can learn a lot from history at times and even about crime. Yes crime and punishment is an interesting factor if its studied well.

One of the guys in the class was the same state trooper that gave me my Drivers test when I was 15 and sure they are required to have certain hours of training in that field on Criminal Justice, penology and things of that nature. Even the instructor was on the city police force I knew him and was a good man. Course they all we suprised to seem me after half of them in the class had bumped into me once or twice.

Sometimes its good to understand and learn what one is getting into but this registry can be the worst with this desktop challenge computer stuff but everything isn’t always black and white as my dad use to say. The American public doesn’t even know whats going on in many of these ordeals at times. Course don’t quote me on any of this, things have changed a lot but human understanding hasn’t.

WHY is this even at the court? Grady v NC @SCOTUS, https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/grady-v-north-carolina/, had SCOTUS determine it is a search.

“Torrey Dale Grady is not disputing the fact that he is a sex offender, and a repeat one at that. He has, however, been battling in North Carolina courts, claiming the GPS ankle bracelet he must wear, which allows the government to monitor his location via satellite 24/7, constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, thereby violating Grady’s constitutional rights.

The United States Supreme Court sided with Grady on March 30, 2015, finding that when the state of North Carolina requires a citizen like Grady to wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet for the rest of his life – based only on the citizen’s status as a recidivist sex offender and where the citizen is not deemed a danger to society – it performs an unconstitutional search.” (https://thenationaltriallawyers.org/2015/04/gps-ankle-monitoring/) Huh, that seems like precedent to me from a very high level.

Here we go with under reporting again and alleged higher recidivism rates (when it is the opposite as we know). Did the opposition not show the lower recidivism rate regardless of the tracking method used by LE? How can under reporting be allowed to be a statement introduced into the record? As @JDUtah said yesterday, it is introducing unsubstantiated facts (paraphrase) into the record. Did anyone challenge this? Are the legal beagles not hunting in the right places for this info and doing due diligence? Thankfully an astute Justice asked for the empirical data.

Side note – politicization of the court system reigns when the author notes which Justice was nominated by which POTUS throughout. Are they purposely tracking votes and courts for scoring purposes or to show trends (which is empirical data data by the way and what the Justice would’ve liked to see)?

Lifetime GPS tracking for habitual sexofenders and SVP’s the United States government will never shift their focus it doesn’t matter if its a Democrat or Republican these type of crimes have become the u.s. government and politicians Public Enemy #1
I respect ACSOL for all they do and have done in California also for creating this website where people can vent and express themselves.
Its really cool reading the comments of other people in California dealing with this nightmare it helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in this fight for freedom .
But at the end of the day I’ve come to the realization that everybody’s not going to agree and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and I respect that but at the end of the day I refuse to tolerate or support or stand with certain type individuals forced to register so out of respect i will stand alone and hopefully by this time next year this whole situation will be nothing but a thing of the past

GOOD LUCK

Hmmm, isn’t the justice being rumored to fill the SCOTUS vacancy, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, currently on the Seventh?? 🤔

Actually I hate to say this but this GPS thing is a bit much for many of you guys. Its like a boundy hunter looking for his next ticket. When I first came in here four five yers ago. seems like everyone was flashing bumper stickers of famous court cases around. It was a hard time just reading my red book of some coarse/court cases.

Sure dad told me that they were just review to help in assements of issues today to use as examples for justice. Seems like justice today has gone internet in a way. So who is using deceptive principals in many and much of this registry ordeal or encounter that many get wrapped up in.

Sure I pled guilty as I have mentioned to many on here but actually who was the really guilty party in this American justice. When that officer that set this upon me, he said if you plead guilty I’ll talk to the judge for you. That right their said volumes about American Government and Janice you can quote me on that one in my Commonwealth vs (incert name) ordeal.

And yes after it was all over I had a talk with the officer and he said see I told you everything would work out but it didn’t. Than we talked a bit more about the items that he wanted me to bring, and he said this it’s part of the game.

As most of you know about this GPS lawsuit, it failed. But I am one of them that’s on lifetime GPS. I am actually one of the original 8 that sued Wisconsin. In 2014 I was busted with possession of cp. I served three in and I served three out. I’ve been on GPS since September 2018. I have been wearing the GPS for 4 years now. Today I will be having my 10th unit put on my leg. Actually last fall they changed companies, to a smaller unit, and in the last year this is my sixth one from this company. The only benefit is that being off of extended supervision I don’t get arrested when they fail. The problem is when these units fail and you’re on probation you get arrested. So Wisconsin is spending all this money to monitor me for when my crime is 100% internet based. But I guess that’s why they charge me $240 a month to be monitored. They try to recover their money somehow. Keep up your fight people, as I keep up mine. Thanks for listening.