Monday, March 16, 2009
GPS Monitoring Device Failed 13 Year-Old Child
[Alycia D. Nipp, age 13]
What is a GPS Monitor for if the person wearing it isn't monitored? Sounds as if the parents
of 13 year-old Alycia Nipp from Vancouver, WA, have a law suit waiting to be filed.
Last month Alycia was sexually assualted and then murdered by a level 3 sexual offender by the name of Darrin Eugene Sanford [Criminal History] is as follows:
Darrin Eugene Sanford was convicted in 1998 of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and two counts of luring minors with sexual motivation.
He was placed on probation, which he violated three times before he was arrested in connection with Alycia Nipp’s murder:
• On November 15, 2006, Sanford was jailed for failing to register as a sex offender. He was released July 31, 2008, and ordered to wear a GPS anklet.
• He was then detained August 20 for being in contact with a minor and failing to register. He was released October 19, again with an ankle bracelet.
• On November 24, authorities arrested Sanford for a misdemeanor property violation. He was released with a GPS device January 3, just 49 days before Licy’s murder.
Where are the person(s) responsible for monitoring activity of those on the bracelets?
Sanford was wearing the device seven weeks later when he tried to rape Licy before beating and stabbing her in a field a couple of blocks from the street where she lived, according to police.
Authorities said they used GPS to corroborate Sanford's confession. A Clark County judge last week postponed his arraignment until June so the defense and prosecution can prepare for death penalty arguments.
Sanford's defense attorney Michael Foister declined to comment on the allegations against his client.
Debate over GPS
The slaying rocked the enclave of Hazel Dell in Vancouver, a 15-minute drive from Portland, Oregon, and serves as fodder for those who claim GPS is used too broadly and bluntly as a tool for keeping tabs on offenders.
"They can't monitor it live, and even if you could monitor it live, him being in the field wouldn't have told you [if] he was murdering the girl," said Evan Mayo-Wilson, an Oxford University lecturer who has studied the use of GPS.There are two types of GPS monitoring: active, in which the offender's whereabouts are surveyed in real-time, and passive, in which probation or parole officers check an offender's movements after the fact.Sanford was passively monitored, said Anmarie Aylward, the Washington DOC's program administrator.
Both types of GPS are important tools for law enforcement, Mayo-Wilson said, but the technology must be coupled with other efforts to reduce recidivism, including treatment programs, personal visits and interviews with neighbors, family members and employers.
Sex offenders should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and supervision programs must be based on fluid assessments that weigh the likelihood of reoffense, said Peter Ibarra, a sociologist at the University of Illinois-Chicago who studies the use of GPS in stalking and domestic violence cases."You have to use it very responsibly," Ibarra said. "It's a technology that cannot stand alone, especially if you're thinking about using it with offenders who imperil the public."
Given this man's history, there is no excuse for what the City or County failed to do.