In 2005, Michael Belleau was civilly committed as a “sexually violent person,” after serving prison time for sexually assaulting children. When released in 2010, Wisconsin law required him to wear a GPS monitoring device for the rest of his life. Recently, a federal appeals court upheld the state law, reversing a lower court.
The problem of shaky or flawed forensic science evidence is about much more than wrongful conviction of the innocent. It also means that the system fails to identify the truly guilty. Criminal cases are increasingly science-dependent, and the traditional forensic sciences have played a critical role in the way we dispense justice. To make forensic science evidence more reliable, a wide range of reforms must take place.
Oct. 30, 2015 – Tabitha A. Scruggs was convicted for burglary, and the court imposed a $250 DNA surcharge on her at her sentencing. Scruggs filed a motion asking for the $250 DNA surcharge to be vacated, as she felt it was punitive and violated the ex post facto clauses of the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions.
Mistakenly believing that Richard Houghton was violating the law while driving with a missing front license plate and a dangling air freshener and GPS system slightly obstructing his view, police made a traffic stop and uncovered marijuana in a subsequent vehicle search. Recently, the state supreme court upheld the search.