Is GPS monitoring unconstitutional? When the Supreme Court remanded Grady v. North Carolina back to the state, it essentially said that GPS monitoring after an individual has completed their sentence and is off of supervision (including any probation or parole), violates an individual’s 4th amendment right. The court agreed that GPS monitoring of a private citizen is an illegal search.
The Court’s sent the case back to North Carolina, where it took another four years until lawyers for Torrey Grady won their case in that state’s Supreme Court. We highlight why that positive win has not yet eliminated the use of GPS (also known as Satellite Based Monitoring) for those no longer under community supervision.
Programs in various states differ in important ways. For instance, not every state allows for lifetime monitoring. Of the ones that do, some allow for monitoring only if the offender is on probation or parole, while others allow unsupervised individuals to be monitored. So the patchwork of laws in different jurisdictions makes it difficult to have consistency for how the ruling is applied.
Also, the court ruled that GPS monitoring might not be unconstitutional if the monitoring is “reasonable.” Since each state can determine what is considered reasonable, the state can argue that lifetime monitoring is not unconstitutional because they consider it reasonable. We believe more litigation will be needed to close loopholes states use to continue this practice.
We also expand on a listener’s question from several episodes back about Nevada law, and remind listeners that federal guidelines are merely advisory. States are allowed to go beyond them. Therefore, don’t rely on federal guidelines when making determinations on your case. Instead, rely on your state’s guidelines.
We also cover two articles briefly. One is a follow up to a recent episode about military sexual assault cases. The other details the positive steps being taken to improve voting rights to individuals with felony convictions.
[05:16] Importance of not alienating committee members when testifying before legislative committees.
[09:15] Follow up to listener’s question about sentencing in Nevada.
[21:01] Detailed discussion of GPS monitoring.
[44:00] Sexual assaults on U.S. military academies.
[47:02] Legislation that advances voting rights for those with felony convictions.
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One thought on “RM258: GPS and the 4th Amendment–Stay Tuned”
So, in Wisconsin I pay $240 a month for GPS monitoring. So in the last 4.5 years I have been charged $13k in services. If found unconstitutional would I be able to get all my money back due to the unconstitutionality of the law? I know probably not, but this is killing me financially.