Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts holding that state statute requiring the imposition of GPS monitoring as a condition of probation was unconstitutional in the context of the case of an individual who was convicted of non-contact sexual offenses.
Georgia Supreme Court holding that lifetime GPS monitoring of individuals designated as sexually violent predators under state law is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.
North Carolina Court of Appeals holding that, absent evidence of effectiveness, imposing GPS monitoring on person required to register would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
North Carolina Court of Appeals holding that in light of prior precedent, where state offers no evidence that GPS monitoring is effective in preventing crimes, imposing it on defendant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
More than forty U.S. states currently track at least some of their convicted sex offenders using GPS devices. Many offenders will be monitored for life. The burdens and expense of living indefinitely under constant technological monitoring have been well documented, but most commentators have assumed that these burdens were of no constitutional moment because states have characterized such surveillance as “civil” in character — and courts have seemed to agree. In 2015, however, the Supreme Court decided in Grady v. North Carolina that attaching a GPS monitoring device to a person was a Fourth Amendment search, notwithstanding the ostensibly civil character of the surveillance. Grady left open the question whether the search — and the state’s technological monitoring program more generally — was constitutionally reasonable. This Essay considers the doctrine and theory of Fourth Amendment reasonableness as it applies to both current and envisioned sex offender monitoring technologies to evaluate whether the Fourth Amendment may serve as an effective check on post-release monitoring regimes.
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals finding that Tennessee's SORA statute was not unconstitutional Ex Post Facto punishment.