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Police try to link 2 men to murders using GPS tracking data

Most people are not fans of the idea that Big Brother is watching you. It's often considered an invasion of privacy. Except when it applies to people convicted of serious crimes though. For these people, the general public is okay with systems like GPS tracking because they feel that these systems "keep tabs" on the convicted. But a story out of Santa Ana this month shows that these systems don't exactly do what people may think.

State police say that they have "link[ed] two convicted sex offenders to the rapes and killings of at least four women in California." According to investigators, this was done by looking at GPS tracking data collected from both men's monitoring bracelets. The data allegedly shows that the two men were in the area when the crimes were committed, which seems to be the basis for police accusations and the subsequent criminal charges.

But if you're familiar with how these systems work then you know that while these devices can establish where a person is, it cannot tell law enforcement whether that person is committing a crime or not. Many would consider this to be the crux of the case. Some of our San Diego readers might also question whether this is simply a case of "right place, wrong time." As we hinted before, just because someone is found to have been in the same area of a crime does not necessarily mean that the person committed it.

Because of the four counts of rape and four counts of special circumstances murder, which both carry with them serious penalties, the two men may seek legal counsel, especially if prosecution moves forward with the charges. An attorney proficient in law may be able to point out the flaw in the GPS tracking system. And, in a case like this, it may even prevent a wrongful conviction.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Franc Cano and Steven Dean Gordon, Suspected Serial Killers, Wore GPS Devices During Crime Spree, Police Say," Don Thompson and Gillian Flaccus, April 15, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results