GPS tracking ankle bracelet become somewhat of a pop culture topic thanks to Lindsay Lohan, Martha Stewart, and the movie Disturbia. These modern marvels allow law enforcement to keep tabs on individuals put on house arrest.
Most people are familiar with the concept of the tracking bracelet, and most people don’t have a huge problem with them. After all, it helps police know exactly where convicted persons are at all time and what is so wrong with that?
In most cases, people are only required to wear these bracelets for a short amount of time, but in Wisconsin it’s legal for courts to rule that bracelets be worn for life. Michael Belleau, a 72-year-old Wisconsin man, is serving a lifetime sentence wearing a GPS tracking ankle bracelet.
Wisconsin Act 431 is a sex offender law that gives authority to the courts to give these lifetime tracking sentences. The tracking bracelets are incredibly sophisticated, only requiring a one-hour daily charge and is waterproof up to 15 feet.
Belleau has tried to appeal his sentence, but this appeal was denied by the court of appeals. In his appeal he said.
“Having a device affixed to one’s body that can be seen by the public, transmits audible messages, and results in frequent visits from DOC officials or police, predictably subjects offenders to face-to-face humiliation and thus closely resembles historical shaming punishments.”
Wisconsin isn’t the only state that allows courts to hand down lifetime sentences for tracking bracelets. Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri, and Florida all have similar laws to Wisconsin’s.
These kinds of law raise questions about how far the courts can, and should be able to reach. GPS can be used as a great alternative to traditional incarceration, but some feel that a lifetime sentence goes too far.
What do you think about this rule? Should courts be allowed to give a sentence like this?