GPS Tracker

Antoine Jones as suspected of operating a large cocaine-selling operation. Police placed a tracking device on his Jeep Grand Cherokee without a warrant to track his movements and gather evidence against him. They tracked his movements for a month and used this evidence to convict him of conspiring to sell cocaine and he was sentenced to life in prison.

His conviction was overturned by an Appeals Court, but the government appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court (U.S. v. Jones) where it was decided in January 2012. The prosecution argued that GPS surveillance was no different than traditional low-tech forms of monitoring. The defense argued that it was an illegal search. The Court ruled in favor of Jones and affirmed the lower court’s ruling to overturn his conviction.

What bearing does this decision have on the use of new technologies used by law enforcement? Has it opened the door to challenge technologically- based police investigative techniques? Is it fair to do so when citizens can buy and use such trackers?

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