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May 16, 2017

New lifetime GPS tracking for old sex offenders raising concerns in Missouri

This lengthy local article, headlined "Hundreds of Missouri sex offenders now required to wear GPS monitoring devices for life," reports on a new sex offender monitoring law that is causing consternation. Here are excerpts:

A sex offender from St. Charles County thought he had moved on with his life after successfully completing five years of probation for sending webcam photographs of his genitals to an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.  Now he’s among hundreds of people in Missouri who are learning they must attach GPS monitoring systems to their ankles for life, even though such a requirement wasn’t part of their sentencing agreement.

The devices send out alerts if an offender lingers near a school or a park.  Cut the wide black strap and the waterproof device will tell on them. It beeps to prompt a verbal command from state officials, say to make a payment or report to probation officers immediately.

The retroactive requirements are part of a revised state criminal code that went into effect Jan. 1.  Offenders either found guilty or who pleaded guilty to 13 various sex crimes in question based on an act committed on or after Aug. 28, 2006, are subject to the added security measures.  Previously, the monitoring technology was used for a more limited class of high-risk offenders.

The St. Charles man is among several sex offenders who are suing and challenging the state. In the lawsuit, in which he is named only as D.G., the 40-year-old argues that the law didn’t exist when he pleaded guilty.  He claims he’s no longer “legally subject” to the jurisdiction of state prison authorities. He argues that he shouldn’t be required to pay monthly supervision fees for decades, nor have travel or residency restricted for life.

“I don’t think a lawyer can make a straight-faced argument that it’s constitutional,” said Clayton-based attorney Matt Fry, who is suing the state on behalf of D.G. and has many other plaintiffs in the wings.

A March 29 “Dear Sir/Madam” letter from chief state supervisor Julie Kempker lays out the law, including threat of a class D felony if conditions are violated.  “We understand that this change may be unexpected,” Kempker said in the letter.  “Rather than being detracted by the lifetime supervision requirements, you are encouraged to remain focused on your daily supervision responsibilities and to do those things that improve your life and positively impact your family and the community in which you live.”

Many sex offenders panicked and started calling lawyers. Some are confused: for instance, those no longer on supervision who moved away from Missouri.

A 41-year-old sex offender from south St. Louis County said he sees the changes as unlawful, too costly and ineffective.  “Lifetime. For the rest of your life. I can’t even comprehend it,” said the man, who didn’t want to be identified to avoid bringing more unwanted attention to himself.

According to court records, he pleaded guilty in 2012 to first-degree child molestation for touching the genitalia of a friend’s 7-year-old daughter.  The first-time offender was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He spent four months behind bars before he was let out to undergo treatment in the community. So long as he did well, he’d be done with state supervision after five years on probation, not including registering as a sex offender for life.  But during a monthly visit to his probation officer in April, he found out about being subject to the added layer of oversight.

He said he argued that lifetime GPS monitoring wasn’t part of his sentencing agreement. Still, the device was attached April 26.  He’s still getting used to wearing it. He said the device puts his job stocking snack machines in jeopardy and that he’s too embarrassed to wear shorts in public . He said it seemed like extra punishment added after the fact.

Kim Kilgore, the St. Louis County prosecutor who handled his case, disagreed. “It’s a collateral consequence of his plea,” Kilgore said. “The legislature has spoken that, in the interest to the public, he should be required to wear this. Mind you, his victim was 7 years old.”

She said sex offenses are a public health issue and should be handled accordingly, similar to people with a contagious disease who are quarantined. “Think of the burden that my victim suffers every day of her life for something he chose to do,” she said.

Officials have tried to notify at least 432 sex offenders like the man from south St. Louis County about the new monitoring requirements, according to the Department of Corrections, which oversees the division of probation and parole.  At the end of April, 364 of them had been placed on GPS monitoring.  They were already on state supervision. About 800 prison inmates are on deck. So are 500 people who already completed their sentences and are considered free.

May 16, 2017 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

Comments

What an illegal crock of shit. Sorry my response would be simple.

"Soory but I see too choices for you and the other little Nazis who passed this illegal law. That your GPS and shove it some where the Don don't shine or I can take it and beat you till you get a clue with it"

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | May 17, 2017 2:30:12 AM

My Nissan has a black box. It now transmits data continuously. The black box does not have to be opened, to know everything about my operation of the car. Those data will be shared with government officials where appropriate, and not with a subpoena, Nissan legal told me.

My cell phone can be located at any time.

My son in law mentioned a product in a living room conversation. Now he is getting ads for it from Google. The likely snitch was his Samsung smart tv waiting for his verbal instructions.

Little Jessica was taken by a registered sex offender from her bedroom across his trailer. She was in his closet, alive, when the police visited him. These laws were named after her, but would not have helped her. Only incapacitation of the sex offender would have.

If I were forced to wear a GPS unit, I would be trying to force an official to track my every location, and to initial any printout of the list of my locations, next to each and every location. Otherwise, the wearing is quackery, since no one knows where I am anyway. I understand a building inspector does not need a warrant nor evidence of a crime to enter my building against my will. His intrusion is civil, not criminal. It benefits my tenants, and ultimately me by giving confidence to my tenants about the quality of my place. So, monitoring helps the offender know he is being watched, and to not break the law. Well, then every location should be read and acknowledged by a government official. I should be able to dispute the readings, the way I may dispute the civil findings of a building inspector. I should be able to demand the official look at my cell phone locations in the case of a dispute, or to get all the locations of my Nissan. Let's get transcripts of all my Samsung TV recordings.

Posted by: David Behar | May 17, 2017 5:44:52 AM

Monitoring individuals who are a danger to society makes sense right? So let's go down the list of those citizens who are a danger to society and consequently should be monitored in order to create a perfectly safe society:
1) Those convicted of a dui/dwi.
2) Those who purchase glock pistols and/or assault rifles.
3) Those who purchase body armor.
4) Those who are convicted of a drug offense.
5) Those who have been diagnosed with a mental impairment.
6) Those who have engaged in online trolling.
7) Those who have made racist remarks.
8) Those who have been convicted of reckless driving/speeding, etc...
Sex is a messy business! Many citizens need help, therapy in order to normalize their sexual lives. As an example, just look up the history of Josh Duggar's sexual development.


Posted by: tommyc | May 17, 2017 8:49:32 AM

The county prosecutor says sex offenses are a "public health issue" and should be handled accordingly, "similar to people with a contagious disease who are quarantined".

Perhaps she'd like to see public dunking and witch-trials too!

She needs a reality check, big time.

Posted by: kat | May 17, 2017 11:09:31 AM

Former sex offenders who have paid their debt should raise hell against this law, especially if it is retroactive. If law suits don't work, than direct street action might be necessary, protests and all!

Posted by: william r. delzell | May 17, 2017 11:54:50 AM

Our "Judicial System" has overreached its purpose and corruption is running rampant.

Posted by: LC in Texas | May 17, 2017 12:07:11 PM

Sure this registration requirement is ridiculous but lets not forget the insanity of the underlying offense.

"pleaded guilty in 2012 to first-degree child molestation for touching the genitalia of a friend’s 7-year-old daughter. The first-time offender was sentenced to 10 years in prison. "

He was sentenced to ten years in prison for touching a little girl on her pee pee. For his first offense. Our lives are so comfortable, the world is filled with some many rainbows and frolicking puppy dogs, that this is the only evil we can find to combat. Crazy. Insane.

Posted by: Daniel | May 17, 2017 12:53:51 PM

Tommy. Take it easy with that monitoring for on line trolling.

Posted by: David Behar | May 17, 2017 1:43:51 PM

I don't think that, if I were ruler of the world, I would impose lifetime SO registry for that crime. But it wouldn't bother me too much. What does bother me---the monitor requirement IS punishment.

Joe lauded my comments about this a while back---I thought we should junk the whole civil/criminal in purpose test and make a qualitative assessment of the liberty restriction/interest at issue. The ankle monitor is like a scarlet letter, and while not "disfiguring"--it's a virtual scar and impacts the wearer in the very same manner as a distinctive mark. (And this is not to get into the very real privacy interest that a free man, and someone who has completed their sentence is a free man, has with respect to the government.)

What is truly depressing--this really isn't hard. No one here would mistake me for a bleeding heart--but one thing that is vitally important is that our freedoms should not be subject to the vicissitudes of the passions of society. In other words, if judges can look at this and incant "civil" then what liberty interest is sacrosanct? There is just certain stuff you just can't do, and coming up to someone who has served his sentence (particularly if he pled guilty_ and say, oh by the way, you gotta wear this ankle monitor.

This isn't hard. That's what is so depressing.

Posted by: federalist | May 17, 2017 8:17:21 PM

And Joe, this is not a start of a mutual admiration society.

Posted by: federalist | May 17, 2017 8:18:08 PM

This was during our Governor Nixon era. The recodification was over due granted, but it was ginormous and would have driven a think tank group to drink. A couple of things have already been "fixed" that were in the recodification debacle. Pure and simple regarding this issue the media does a great job of fear mongering in their "journalism" or "reporting" which prompts the public to contact their legislators wanting more laws to keep their families safe. If a legislator votes their conscience they will be committing "political suicide." I have seen it. So, what should or registrant families and advocates do? One suggestion is to begin educating the public.....

Posted by: Vicki Henry | May 17, 2017 9:17:57 PM

"And Joe, this is not a start of a mutual admiration society."

duly noted

Posted by: Joe | May 17, 2017 10:27:17 PM

The line between "civil" and "criminal" is a bit hazy but does seem that the law provides different tests in various cases. But, that doesn't mean a "civil" provision should be put to a weak test. Infringement of the freedom of speech, e.g., should only be done with strict guidelines. This is so even if merely "civil" regulations are at stake.

The line is even more hazy when it is put on top of a criminal punishment.

Posted by: Joe | May 17, 2017 10:31:32 PM

I would love to see the people affected by this murder the legislators who approved it. Little would make me happier.

Messages need to be sent. Every single day. War is the answer. There is no need to respect these criminal regimes, their "legal" systems, or their law enforcement. All criminals.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | May 18, 2017 5:58:02 AM

Not keen to see cheerleading for murder, FRegistryTerrorists, but I assume this is meant just a sharp rhetoric as we sometimes hear from others in this space. But please know calls for criminal violence in this space is not appreciated.

Posted by: Doug B. | May 18, 2017 8:39:12 AM

FReg. I oppose murdering the lawyers in the legislature. They will be replaced by grateful competitors. These may be worse. I also oppose violent revolution, since none has ever been successful in history. That includes that cataclysmic lawyer mistake, the American Revolution. Without it, slavery would have ended in 1833, not 1863. It would have ended by law, not by the deaths of 850,000 people.

I do support primary challenges to dirtbag lawyers ruining our country. I do support endless litigation against laws, even though judicial review is prohibited by our constitution. For example, I sued my state. I lost, but the practice I opposed has never recurred, not even one time, since my lawsuit. That practice was detrimental to thousands of doctors and to millions of patients. Gone.

I have not given any legal thinking to registries. But I do have a legal doctrine for you. Regulatory Quackery. If registries cannot be shown to increase the safety of sex crime victims, with the burden on the state, they are fraudulent. The registrants should file an aggregate claim, and seek punitive damages to deter the unlawful conduct of the state.

I do support repeal of the Eleventh Amendment, since government is so awful, and must be deterred. Our awful government is a wholly owned subsidiary of the lawyer profession, and must be stopped.

Posted by: David Behar | May 18, 2017 9:06:22 AM

"...as we sometimes hear from others in this space."

What? If you are referring to me, there is some misunderstanding. I have called for the enforcement of the law prohibiting insurrection against our constitution. That would take the form of arrests, one hour fair trials, and summary executions of the lawyer hierarchy. The sole evidence at those trials would be the legal utterances of the defendants, with no collateral corruption gotchas. I support the enforcement of this important law. I hope you come to join me in opposing the rampant law breaking going on in your profession. To deter.

Posted by: David Behar | May 18, 2017 9:15:12 AM

Doug B. as much as I agree with you, and as much as I would rather not comment on FResistryTerrorist murder thoughts, I feel I have no choice. Omar Mateen was questioned by the FBI on at least three separate occasions. The FBI ultimately decided that the government would be infringing on his first amendment rights if they were to incriminate him in any way. As you know he is now our nation's greatest mass murderer. This is a chilling example of our nation's misplaced priorities. Our citizens who are convicted of possession of child pornography but have not abused anyone, and have not paid for this vile material are sentenced daily to 5+ years of incarceration. Yes, these individuals possess BAD thoughts. Yes, these these citizens need therapy, and indeed, are most amenable to rehabilitation. I don't buy into this being a crime of exploitation when this material is on the internet for free, without any warnings of any kind and the abusers who are uploading this crap on the internet are rarely caught. Another example of misplaced priorities!

Posted by: tommyc | May 18, 2017 9:17:51 AM

Joe, the issue should be a qualitative assessment of the liberty interest being affected. A "scarlet letter" in all but name cannot be imposed ex post facto (and that's not getting into the privacy issues) . . . .

Your post is typical mealy-mouth Joe.

Posted by: federalist | May 18, 2017 5:48:47 PM

Lol nope he is probably talking about me.

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | May 18, 2017 6:34:53 PM

Doug B. | May 18, 2017 8:39:12 AM:

I'm definitely not calling for criminal violence but I would lying like the government if I said that it wouldn't make me happy. I would be ecstatic if every time a politician (or anyone else, really) said "s*x offender" that they were immediately murdered. I would celebrate every one of those. But I'm certainly not going to do it or ask anyone else to. I'm a very kind person who loves other people and takes care of them. I'm not a "s*x offender" blabbing politician P.O.S.

I will say that 2+ decades of idiotic harassment and attacks on my family from big government have completely radicalized me. They are my enemies. People who support them are my enemies. And I am completely serious and dedicated to making them pay for it. I have had a large effect and it's going to continue.

Every time big government looks at me, they are committing an act of war.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | May 19, 2017 11:43:51 AM

David Behar | May 18, 2017 9:06:22 AM:

Endless litigation is a great idea. The criminal regimes must be contained all the time. Congratulations on your successes.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | May 19, 2017 11:45:00 AM

tommyc | May 18, 2017 9:17:51 AM:

There is no doubt that punishment for s*x offenses is well outside the bounds of any intelligence or in consideration of dangerousness. I don't think a person who looks at CP needs "therapy" nearly as much as a person who shoots another person with a gun. But apparently people seem to think shooting people is fairly normal and not particularly dangerous.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | May 19, 2017 11:46:15 AM

Joe, the issue should be a qualitative assessment of the liberty interest being affected. A "scarlet letter" in all but name cannot be imposed ex post facto (and that's not getting into the privacy issues) . . . .

Your post is typical mealy-mouth Joe.

As I said, citing freedom of speech as an example, "civil" or "criminal," the denial of liberty might be strong enough that it doesn't really matter in the end. That is, the person will be protected regardless. What "should be" the test is an interesting question, but in real life, the maximum position is not necessary and often not taken. For the person being denied liberty here, therefore, it is of limited use to be a purist.

The ex post facto issue is, of course, covered in Art. 1, sec. 10. The application to a criminal case would be clear; somewhat less so in a civil case, but such labels as you say very well might miss the forest for the trees.

Calling me "mealy-mouth" aside, not really seeing you really negating anything I said. Perhaps, federalist felt upset that he was "too soft" on me earlier. If so, welcome back.

Posted by: Joe | May 19, 2017 2:44:16 PM

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