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Lifetime electronic monitoring of some sex offenders might violate the Constitution

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A program requiring some Michigan sex offenders to wear electronic monitors for the rest of their lives might face a legal challenge.

The U.S. Supreme Court saysa North Carolina sex offender should have a chance to challenge a requirement that he wear a GPS monitoring bracelet for the rest of his life.

The justices ruled Monday that the state's highest court should have considered Torrey Dale Grady's argument that having to wear the ankle bracelet violates his constitutional rights.

Grady was convicted of a second-degree sex offense in 1997 and later convicted in 2006 of taking indecent liberties with a child. The second conviction qualified Grady as a recidivist. In 2013, he was ordered to start wearing the GPS bracelet 24 hours a day so officials could track his movements.

The Supreme Court said lower courts should determine whether having to wear the bracelet is an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.

There are currently five thousand individuals in Michigan required to wear GPS monitoring devices.  75 of them are required to wear the devices for the rest of their lives.  They pay a dollar a day to cover the cost of the GPS monitor.

Michigan is among 8 states which requires some sex offenders to wear an ankle monitor for life. 

A state corrections spokesman says until the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rules, the implications for Michigan will remain unclear.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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