MA Supreme Judicial Court rules no on mandatory, blanket GPS monitoring

By John R. Ellement . . . Convicted sex offenders retain a constitutional right to privacy, and those rights are being violated by a state law mandating that everyone convicted of some sex crimes wear a GPS monitoring bracelet as part of their sentence, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday.

In a 7-0 ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court decided that privacy protections found in both the state and federal constitutions apply to sex offenders, who are entitled to a case-by-case review of whether GPS monitoring is needed to protect society.

“The government does not have an ‘unlimited’ ability to infringe upon a probationer’s still-existing, albeit diminished, expectations of privacy,’’ Justice Frank M. Gaziano wrote for the court. “GPS monitoring is not a minimally invasive search.”

The court said judges must now make an “individualized” determination that GPS monitoring is necessary in order to protect the public, especially children, from the offender, and will also decide whether GPS monitoring will help with rehabilitation of the defendant.

“Mandatory, blanket imposition of GPS monitoring on probationers, absent individualized determinations of reasonableness, is unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights,’’ Gaziano wrote.

Read the full story here at the Boston Globe.

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    • #53864 Reply
      Minor american

      Everything will end up back to square 1 which is …it is and always has been illegal and unjust to not provide correct procedure and due process for each and every crime and the excessive use of plea deals and poor oversight of defense, do to widespread bias in consideration of type of crimes…i.e. sexual nature but not necessarily the seriousness or mitigation, litigation basis also the denial of proper review by professionals..on last point on the unconstutionality of specific concentration of laws both intrusive and punitive as well as binding and violating Civil codes and statute’s !!!

    • #53875 Reply
      Ed C

      This is the second state supreme court to recently decide aspects of GPS monitoring to be unconstitutional. Baby steps, but it is movement. I see as most encouraging the requirement for “individualized determinations of reasonableness.” Most SO regulations involve absurd blanket applications. Requiring courts to justify individual restrictions will provide new avenues for appeal, and will further burden an already overloaded system. For economic reasons alone, legislatures may ease some odious requirements.

    • #53890 Reply

      Abolish GPS PERMANENTLY, does not protect society at all! It is a tool to call a person an animal on a leash! Not to mention a money making gimmick for Manufacturing companies.

    • #54024 Reply

      Behold the power of databases.

      Continuing electronic search by gov agents is a reality. Private firms also capitalize from legal subservience of human to ” the people’s ” machines that impact liberty via the imposition of affirmative restraint. Are we at our base a nation of, for, by machines to impose social order? Yes, undoubtedly the electronic blacklists will expand and ultimately prevail for political control.
      FISA malpractice has already reared its inevitable potential since the Patriot Acts inception. Facebook is now being sued by the Feds for biased protocol but that same fed promoted banning registrants. Who to trust?

    • #54398 Reply

      I live in Massachusetts and am on probation and have the gps put on because it was required by law even though my cases dates back to 1995 !
      Yet they have not made any moves to take these gps bracelet off. You have to hire a lawyer and have them file a motion and then it’s up to the judge but I don’t have any money to hire a lawyer right now so It stays!!

      • #56010 Reply

        I am in South Carolina and we have the same issue. Been on GPS for nine years for a conviction that has now been expunged off record. In order to get it taken off you have to file a motion and let a judge decide Even though everyone assumed an expungement would take care of this. I don’t believe GPS protects anybody because if a person wants to commit a crime they can still do it. To me it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who is already completed their sentence and is no longer on probation. South Carolina made a huge mistake when they wrote and rewrote over and over again the statute for the GPS requirement And sex offender registry. There are hundreds of gaps that I have already pointed out to the legislature, governor, senator, any representative that has to do with passing laws or creating them . And guess what they don’t give a damn because it doesn’t pertain to them or any of their loved ones.

    • #55258 Reply

      Hi Guys,
      Hang in there. We are making Progress.

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