Fourth amendment constraints on the technological monitoring of convicted sex offenders

Ben A. McJunkin, J. J. Prescott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-425
Number of pages47
JournalNew Criminal Law Review
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fourth amendment
  • GPS technology
  • Monitoring
  • Post-release regulations
  • Privacy
  • Search
  • Sex offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fourth amendment constraints on the technological monitoring of convicted sex offenders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this