Nov 032017

Memphis police put ankle monitor GPS devices on dozens of domestic assault victims

Yes, you read that right: they’re putting the GPS trackers on the *victims.*

Now, it’s not quite as bad as you might be thinking. In fact, on a certain level it’s a good idea: the system alerts the victim if the person who assaulted them, who is also wearing a GPS tracker, comes within a specified distance. But… there is a more obvious, less distressing way to go here: instead of tracking a monitor strapped to the ankle of the victim, just track their *phone.* These days it’s a reasonable assumption that just about everybody has a GPS-equipped phone of some type and keeps it near them. If the villain gets too close, the victims phone starts going buggo with warnings and text messages. Perhaps authorities would even call or Skype to speak to the victim and warn them and check on them. No answer, or a lack of the proper code response, and the cops are sent to apply a beatdown to the villain.


 Posted by at 11:09 pm
  • Adam

    Quick Question: Do your cats have GPS tracking bugs on them? If not, I’d suggest you get them installed. You can never be too careful.

    • publiusr

      Abusers try to go after their girlfriends’s phone–they may not notice the ankle

  • Nick Gaston

    Naw, the REAL problem with this kind of setup is if you accidentally mix up which one of the bracelet pair has the bomb wired to the proximity sensor.

  • John Nowak

    The article doesn’t mention the consent of the victim at all.

    >“If somebody accused of rape is enough of a risk that a victim would need to wear a safety monitoring device,” said civil rights lawyer Carrie Goldberg, “then perhaps it would make more sense to rethink that [perpetrator’s] being on the streets in the first place.”

    And I’m sure that’s entirely up to the police, right? They can just lock people up without having to clear it with anyone.

    • Scottlowther

      > They can just lock people up without having to clear it with anyone.

      I’m of two not entirely contradictory minds:
      1: The legal system is and should remain a system that carries out its sentence, and then is done with the convicted.
      2: I’ve no problem with brand-new sentences that aren’t “you’ll be in prison for 10 years,” but instead are “you’ll be kept away from decent people until you are judged to no longer be a threat.”

      Can’t grandfather in #2 to someone previously sentenced to a standard term in prison, but I’d have no problem with it being applied to new cases.

      • Doug Pirahna

        >2: I’ve no problem with brand-new sentences that aren’t “you’ll be in
        prison for >10 years,” but instead are “you’ll be kept away from decent
        people until you are >judged to no longer be a threat.”

        I’m starting to see more sentences in my home state (WV) that are basically this, in one case the judge said as much. It was a home invasion robbery case where the defendant beat up an 80 yr old man. The judge sentenced the defendant to a 55 year full determinate sentence less credit for time served, which meant it was a 54 year sentence.
        The defendant was 25 at the time.

        Used to be you saw cases that involved multiple charges the defendant would serve the sentence “concurrently”, so the crime with the most severe charge would be the one they served the longest.
        Now I’m seeing judges sentence people in cases like the above to serve the charges “consecutively”, stacking up all of the time. And they have the option to go to a full determinate sentence, which means if the charge carries a penalty of say 10-15 years, you’ll serve the full 15. No parole, no time off for good behavior, only credit for time served.

        I haven’t heard anyone locally complain about people being locked up for effectively life in cases like the above.

    • Doug Pirahna

      During the arraignment hearing for the defendant bail will be discussed, there are multiple factors the court can consider in granting bail.

      The factors the court should consider when setting a bail are found in Tennessee Code Annotated 40-11-115 and include:

      1. The defendant’s length of residence in the community

      2. The defendant’s employment status and history and financial condition

      3. The defendant’s family ties and relationships

      4. The defendant’s reputation, character and mental condition

      5. The defendant’s prior criminal record, including prior releases on recognizance or bail

      6. The identity of responsible members of the community that will vouch for defendant’s reliability

      7. The nature of the offense and the apparent probability of conviction
      and the likely sentence, insofar as these factors are relevant to the
      risk of nonappearance, and

      8. Any other factors indicating the defendant’s ties to the community or bearing on the risk of willful failure to appear.

      Courts are allowed to consider whether the defendant will try to contact or intimidate the victim and/or witnesses or if they are a threat to them or the community.

      If you’re deemed enough of a threat then bail can be denied.