Satellite Monitoring Falls From Orbit
Magistrates in Charleston County, S.C., have put a stop to the release of criminal defendants on bail with satellite tracking bracelets while a study is conducted to determine if the technology is reliable.
The decision is in response to a case in which a defendant charged with rape allegedly committed another sexual assault while wearing such a device, which he later cut off in order to hide from authorities.
“The concern is that we’re giving people in the community a false sense of security when we tell them we’re putting someone on monitoring,” explains Chief Magistrate Henry Guerard. Guerard notes that most people believe the tracking devices let the police know when a defendant is violating the terms of release.
However, Guerard says court hearings are necessary in the event of possible violations, and not much else can be done unless police witness the crime in action.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Charleston Post and Courier (07/06/06) P. A1; Smith, Glenn .