Sex Offenders: Technological Monitoring and the Fourth Amendment
46 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 75 (2019)
16 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2021 Last revised: 25 May 2021
Date Written: July 1, 2019
In 2015, 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.
This Essay is adapted, with permission, from our article Fourth Amendment Constraints on the Technological Monitoring of Convicted Sex Offenders, 21 New Crim. L. Rev. 379 (2018).
Keywords: Fourth Amendment, sex offenders, monitoring, GPS technology, search, privacy, post-release regulations
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