Mass. Court Rejects GPS For Freed Sex Offender

The state's highest court has ruled that Massachusetts judges cannot force new probation restrictions on sex offenders unless they violate their original probation conditions.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Friday upheld a lower court decision rejecting a request to require Ralph Goodwin to wear a global positioning system monitoring bracelet and to bar him from schools, libraries, playgrounds and parks.

Goodwin was convicted of raping and kidnapping a 7-year-old Lowell boy in 1990. After serving his prison term and a civil commitment, Goodwin was released on probation in 2009.

In a 4-3 vote, the SJC said the lower court found correctly that there was no substantial change in Goodwin's circumstances to justify adding probation conditions. Three justices disagreed, finding that requiring a probationer to wear a GPS device as an added probation condition is not punitive.

This program aired on September 17, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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