GA Supreme Court rules sexually dangerous predators no longer have to wear monitoring devices

Georgia Supreme Court Sex Offender Ruling

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Sexually dangerous predators will no longer have to wear electronic monitoring devices.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled the GPS tracking unconstitutional on Monday, as long as the offenders have finished their prison sentences and parole.

The Supreme Court said electronically tracking level two sexual offenders after they’ve completed their parole and probationary periods is an invasion of privacy.

Before the ruling, those level two offenders had to be monitored for the rest of their lives.

This controversial ruling affects three offenders in Dougherty County.

Sexually dangerous predators is a jarring term to most. .

“It’s just scary you know. We live in a different world today,” said Dougherty County resident Joey Cannon.

On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in Park v. The State that it is unconstitutional to make level two offenders wear the tracking device once they finish their parole or probationary period. A decision that hits close to home.

Georgia Supreme Court Case, Park v. The State. (Source: WALB)
Georgia Supreme Court Case, Park v. The State. (Source: WALB)

“For us here in Dougherty County, we’ve called in our three sexual predators that we have and removed the monitor off of their legs,” said Sheriff Kevin Sproul.

Before the ruling, those classified as sexually dangerous predators, or level two offenders, paid for and wore the device for the rest of their lives.

“The monitoring was mainly done just on the predators. The ones that were considered dangerous because of the acts they committed and had been convicted of,” said Captain Craig Dodd.

The ruling states the GPS monitoring after a person has completed his or her prison sentence and probationary period is a significant intrusion of privacy. But not everyone agrees with this line of thinking.

“If you commit a crime, you know, of that nature, I think the police have the right to know where you are,” said Dodd.

Still, the offenders will have to re-register on the sexual offenders registry every year and keep the same distance from schools, parks, etc. as they had been required to do before the ruling.

“Physically monitoring, we will still monitor them, we still make visits regularly,” said Dodd.

Sproul said his office plans to go back to the General Assembly with their concerns. He said they want to work on correcting and amending this law.

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