Brown signs law punishing California sex offenders who ditch GPS devices

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California Gov. Jerry Brown looks on during a news conference at Google headquarters on September 25, 2012 in Mountain View, California.

Paroled sex offenders in California who cut off their GPS tracking devices will receive harsher punishments.      

Under legislation that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Saturday, cutting off a tracking device could send paroled sex offenders to county jail for six months.

The bill, from Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance, was in response to reports that more offenders were ditching their ankle bracelets and faced little punishment because they often were soon released from crowded jails.   

It takes effect Jan. 1.      

One set of figures from the state showed that the number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California was 15 percent higher than before Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect in 2011.

CORRECTION:  In an earlier version of this story, The Associated Press reported erroneously on several provisions in a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The maximum penalty for paroled sex offenders who cut off their GPS tracking devices is six months in county jail, not three years in state prison, and the offense is a parole violation, not a new felony. It does not apply to offenders who are ordered to wear the tracking devices as a condition of their county probation. The new law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014, not immediately.

 

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