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Mass. High Court Rules In Favor Of Sex Offenders In GPS Case

This article is more than 13 years old.

The state's highest court has ruled that sex offenders convicted before 2006 cannot be forced to wear GPS devices if they violate probation or parole.

In the 4-3 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said a 2006 law requiring all sex offenders to wear GPS devices cannot apply retroactively.

David Frank, of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, said the case was a balancing act between public safety and constitutional rights.

"The court had to balance the right of the public to protect itself against sex offenders and those who have been convicted of certain crimes versus a defendant's constitutional right to not be subject to punishment for the same crime twice," Frank said.

The ruling stemmed from the case of a man convicted in 1997, who broke his parole just after the 2006 law took effect.

This program aired on August 18, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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