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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Senate leader calls for GPS investigation after O.C. serial killings

LA TimesThe leader of the state Senate is seeking an investigation into how two sex offenders being monitored by parole agents and tracked by GPS devices were allegedly able to rape and murder four women without being detected.

The two sex offenders were wearing electronic monitoring devices and regularly reporting to police during a months-long string of slayings in Orange County. They were arrested soon after a woman’s naked body was found on a conveyor belt at a trash-sorting facility.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said through his spokesman that while there’s evidence the devices are effective in solving crimes, the question of whether they prevent crime is something “we need to revisit.”

Steinberg seeks “an honest discussion as to whether the investment in these expensive programs is achieving what we’re told they’ll do,” said his aide, Rhys Williams.

California monitors more than 6,000 high-risk sex offenders and gang members on state parole with GPS systems -- a $63-million-a-year effort that is the largest electronic monitoring program in the nation.

There is no indication of whether there will be a similar investigation of the federal GPS probation system, which was tracking one of the registered sex offenders during a period last year when police say two of the women were killed.

More than 1,400 offenders are tracked under the national system.

Franc Cano and Steven Dean Gordon, both registered sex offenders, were arrested Friday on suspicion of raping and killing four women who vanished in central Orange County. All had a history of prostitution. continue reading...

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