Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WI Governor calls for GPS tracking of individuals with domestic violence restraining order against them

Since we talk a lot about GPS tracking, I thought this was an interesting proposal. As the article states, the recent Azana Salon shooting here in Wisconsin was committed by an estranged husband with a domestic violence restraining order in place. With the rash of recent shootings here in Wisconsin (Azana Salon and Sikh temple shooting), as well as the tragedy in Newtown, it appears politicians have been compelled to act. The question always remains, does the legislation or proposal alleviate the issue it is trying to achieve, or is it an overreaction to the current social and political environment.

In this case, I'm not sure that having a GPS monitor on the Azana Salon shooter's leg (or wherever) would have prevented the shooting - by the time an alert went out, he would have likely been already done shooting. Additionally, to provide notification to potential victims that an individual is getting near to them, the person who sought the restraining order would need to be constantly tracked as well. I'm sure there are a variety of ways of achieving this that might be less intrusive to either party, but the practical realities have yet to be seen. The bigger question is - does a restraining order against you trump your Fourth Amendment rights. And because you do not have to actually commit a crime to have a restraining order against you, is there sufficient justification on the say of another person, alone, to allow such monitoring. Perhaps it would only be allowed for individuals who actually committed a DV related crime.

Scott Walker states, in the article that:

Nothing's foolproof, so I'm cautious to say anything would prevent anything for sure," he said. "But in the case of Brookfield, if that guy had a bracelet on, she got a text or a phone (call) to say he was close . . . and (she) immediately called the police, you can't guarantee anything, but I don't think it's a leap of assumption to say they might have arrived fairly rapidly and potentially would have prevented him from gaining access or at least from attacking as many people as he did.
Very interesting, and I'm interested to see how this plays out.

The article can be found here: Walker: GPS monitoring needed for those with restraining orders


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