Friday, March 26, 2010

AZ Attorney Challenges GPS Monitoring in District Court Attorney calls bracelet mandate unconstitutional - Porn defendant's monitoring challenged.

The attorney for a retired Tucson police officer indicted on child-pornography charges is challenging a federal law that requires his client to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Michael Piccarreta contends the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is unconstitutional as a whole and as it applies to his client, Jefferson Sutton Stahl, because it prevents individual judges from determining whether electronic monitoring is needed.

"While I think this act is good politics, it's probably bad constitutional law," Piccarreta said Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

The Adam Walsh Act, named for a Florida boy who was abducted from a mall in 1981 and later found murdered, (but no sexual crime was every alleged) was signed into law in 2006 and applies to all sex crimes. Among its provisions is a requirement that defendants out of custody be subjected to electronic monitoring.

Stahl, 62, was indicted in January on three counts of possession of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography.

Piccarreta told U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Ferraro deciding whether a defendant requires electronic monitoring should be up to the judge, not up to legislation. "I feel it's inappropriate for Congress to limit judicial power," he said.