Torrey Grady. North Carolina Department of Justice

The Supreme Court ordered North Carolina’s legal system to re-examine whether it is constitutional to require a convicted sex offender to wear an electronic GPS anklet for the rest of his life. For the moment, Monday’s ruling renders uncertain the legal justification for North Carolina’s electronic monitoring program—which has more than 600 offenders wearing ankle bracelets—and the future of some 40 other states that also require GPS surveillance on tens of thousands of others.
The justices ordered North Carolina to apply reasoning from a 2012 decision when the high court ruled that affixing GPS devices to vehicles to track their every move without a court warrant was an unconstitutional trespass or search. In doing so, the justices sided with sex offender Torrey Grady, 36, who demanded that the 2012 precedent should apply when the GPS device is hooked to a human.
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