GPS Tracking on Sex Offenders
Sex offenders have several restrictions when it comes to their personal lives such as where they live, where they can work and basically what they can and cannot do in their daily lives. With the amount of overcrowding in our prisons and jails some states have resorted to GPS tracking on sex offenders after they have been released from prison. I can’t imagine it being more expensive than making these offenders serve life sentences or extremely long sentences. However, I feel this sort of “punishment” should be saved for offenders with the shorter track record and the least violent. But like any system this is not completely error proof and still needs some work. Four states, Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma have already implemented a program in which sex offenders are electronically monitored for the rest of their lives. Sex offenders are already required to check it on a consistent basis; this sort of technology would allow law enforcement to track them without them checking in. Some are arguing that this is a civil rights violation and should not be used on those who they feel will not recidivate. Lifetime monitoring may be a little bit excessive but that is a stipulation that can always be altered at a later time. With these devices, authorities have the power to locate the offender at any moment. From an investigation stand point these monitors could be extremely beneficial with investigating new cases and eliminating suspects. As with all technology though there are some flaws that must be worked out in order for the use of these monitoring systems to spread to more states and more agencies. Several situations in which a GPS monitoring system could have prevented a crime have surfaced recently. For example, the story of 9 year old Jessica Lunsford of Florida. She was murdered by a registered sex offender John Couey. Couey is now fitted with a GPS monitoring system for life. If Couey had been placed on the monitoring system immediately after his release Jessica may have been able to be rescued. The rape and murder case of Chelsea King, a 17 year old has forced California to take another look at their monitoring system. John Albert Gardner III was found guilty in this case and was linked to the rape and murder of another girl Amber Dubois who was only 14. The twist to this story is that he was linked to Dubois after King was found dead. Gardner had already been convicted for molesting at 13 year old girl in 2000. Gardner could have faced 15 years in prison; instead he was sentenced with 6 and served 5. If Gardner had been fitted with a GPS tracking system both of these cases could have been avoided in my opinion. What do you think about GPS tracking on sex offenders? Is it a violation of their rights? Would it reduce recidivism rates?
RESOURCES • http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/TheLaw/chelseas-law-track-sex-offenders-gps/story?id=10063652&page=2 • http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,164288,00.html