Florida Legislature Urged to Vote on Bill That Would Require Lifetime GPS Monitoring For Florida Sex Crime Offenders

November 19, 2014 by David S. Seltzer

Florida county representatives have asked the Florida State Legislature to mandate that people convicted of sex offenses in Florida be forced to wear GPS monitors for life.

Even if you committed an offense years or decades ago – and you’ve been a model citizen ever since – the Miami-Dade Legislative Item File Number 142535 would still force you to wear a device. The motion was passed by a vote of 10 to 1, with two commissioners absent, and the official title says it all: “Resolution urging the Florida legislature to require sexual predators and sexual offenders to wear electronic monitoring devices for the remainder for the natural lives.”

The Board of County Commissioners worries about the high “recidivism rate” for people who’ve been convicted of sex crimes; they also cited the fact that a Florida Legislature-Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability report written in 2012 said that many sheriff’s offices struggled to find “sexual predators and sexual offenders… listed at transient residences.”

The members of the commission believe that better monitoring of these convicts could let police know instantly if someone violated the law and entered a park, school, nursery facility or other place where children congregate. They noted that similar types of laws have been passed in nearly dozen states, including California, Missouri, Maryland and Rhode Island.

The passion that the Board has for protecting the well-being of children is obviously understandable. We have strong needs to protect people who are young and vulnerable from those who would cause harm. On the other hand, this draconian proposal would create an incredible burden for people whose lives have already been thrown into chaos and whose movements are already under severe restriction.

Are such restrictions morally fair or even Constitutional?

What about the civil liberties of the men or women who would spend the rest of their lives monitored in this fashion? Rather than more punitive laws, why don’t we try to reduce recidivism by using more humane approaches, like providing better, more compassionate psychological care for people drawn to committing sex offences?

If you or someone you love is worried about your legal rights as a convicted (or accused) Florida cyber crime or sex offender, call Seltzer Law, P.A. at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (888-843-3333) today for a confidential consultation.