Fed Appeals Court Upholds GPS Device/Scarlet Letter Combo

Associated Press

Tracking devices used to monitor sexual offenders in Tennessee are not intended as additional punishment, a federal appeals court has ruled.

A three-judge panel voted 2-1 in Friday's ruling that the constitutional rights of a Knox County sex offender, identified in the case as "John Doe," were not violated.

But in a dissent, 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove said the global positioning system device that must be worn at the waist outside of clothing [Ed:?!] amounts to a symbol of his crime — a modern-day "scarlet letter."

Doe was convicted and sentenced for aggravated kidnapping and sexual battery before the new laws took effect. He claimed the state couldn't retroactively reclassify him as a violent sex offender.
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