Court upholds GPS monitoring of sex offenders

A U.S. federal court has ruled that sex offenders can be required to wear GPS monitoring devices for life. The ruling by the Seventh Circuit overturned a previous ruling by a federal judge that found a Wisconsin law unconstitutional, and rests on the discredited notion that sex offenders have a “frightening and high” recidivism rate.
Judge Richard Posner wrote the majority decision.

“The focus must be on the incremental effect of the challenged statute on the plaintiff’s privacy, and that effect is slight given the decision by Wisconsin to make sex offenders’ criminal records and home addresses public,” Judge Richard Posner wrote for the three-judge panel. (Emphasis in original.)Given that anyone with an Internet connection can look up Belleau’s name, photo, address and criminal history, “The additional loss from the fact that occasionally his trouser leg hitches up and reveals an anklet monitor that may cause someone who spots it to guess that this is a person who has committed a sex crime must be slight,” Posner wrote.

Read the report from Courthouse News Service.

Here is the full text of the ruling and concurring opinion.

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