Satellite-Based Monitoring Is not Punishment

I was out of the office when the Supreme Court of North Carolina released its latest batch of opinions, so I’m just now getting around to writing about big news related to satellite-based monitoring (SBM) of sex offenders. In State v. Bowditch, the state high court concluded that SBM is not a criminal punishment, and … Read more

Second Amendment Math: Britt + Heller = Whitaker?

A divided court of appeals decided another significant gun case this week. But before I talk about the opinion in State v. Whitaker, I’ll briefly summarize the legal backdrop for the case. In June 2008, the United States Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right … Read more

Another Batch of Satellite-Based Monitoring Cases

The last round of opinions from the court of appeals included three related to satellite-based monitoring (SBM) of sex offenders. None of them broke any major new ground, but two more dissents show that nothing is fully settled in this rapidly evolving area. In State v. Gardner, the court found the defendant, who was recently … Read more

Sex Offender Case Law Update (Part I)

Update: As discussed on Professor Doug Berman’s Sentencing Blog, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts recently determined that the GPS monitoring law in that state is punitive in effect, and therefore may not be applied to defendants initially placed on probation for acts committed before the law’s enactment. The court’s opinion in Commonwealth v. Cory … Read more

State v. Bare and Satellite-Based Monitoring

I’m in Asheville for the next few days, but I wanted to write briefly about an important case decided by the Court of Appeals last week. In State v. Bare, the court held that satellite-based monitoring (SBM) of sex offenders is not punishment, and therefore does not implicate the Ex Post Facto Clause. The defendant … Read more