Thu, Mar 12th 2009 8:34pm
A 13-year-old girl in Washington was killed last month by a registered sex offender who was being monitored with a GPS tracking device. The tragedy illustrates how such tracking devices -- whether fitted to criminals or children -- aren't magic bullets that offer total protection. In this case, the GPS device helped police corroborate the killer's confession, but it didn't stop the crime. He was being tracked passively, not in real-time, but even if he were, the fact that he was in a field wouldn't have helped anyone notice that he was trying to rape, and then killing, the girl. The devices may prove useful from an evidence standpoint, but that's only after a crime is committed. Perhaps part of the intention is that they'll also act as a deterrent, though sadly that wasn't any help in this case. Whatever the intention, it's important to remember that the devices themselves really don't offer much protection, and shouldn't be viewed as standalone solutions to preventing crime.
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