7th Circuit Court reviews lifetime tracking

By Joe Kelly . . .

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.

The complaint originally named as a defendant former Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Cathy Jess, who has since been replaced by Secretary Kevin Carr.

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