A North Carolina appellate court ruled that a sex offender cannot be forced to wear a GPS monitoring device for 30 years because there is no evidence to show that GPS tracking protects the public.
The Court of Appeals of North Carolina ruled that, “absent any evidence that satellite based monitoring is effective to protect the public from sex offenders, the trial court erred in imposing SBM on a sex offender for 30 years.”
A copy of their decision can be found here: State v Griffin – NC
The defendant in that case spent more than a decade in prison for abusing his girlfriend’s daughter. GPS was not part of his original sentence, but upon his release, probation tried to impose that condition and the trial court allowed it.
The appellate court, however, reversed. Based on a recent prior case, State v Grady, that was decided a few months ago, the state would need to demonstrate that the search (GPS tracking constituted a search) was “reasonable” in order for it to not be considered an unreasonable search and seizure and therefore unconstitutional.
The court found the lack of evidence that GPS tracking is effective as the catalyst for making this requirement unreasonable.