STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. ERNEST JONES
Defendant Ernest Jones was sentenced to community supervision for life (CSL) in 2000 following his conviction for second-degree sexual assault. After his release from prison in 2002, defendant was convicted eight times of violating the
conditions of his CSL. Consequently, in 2012, the Parole Board subjected defendant to GPS monitoring as a condition of his CSL, pursuant to the Sex Offender Monitoring Act (SOMA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.89 to -123.95. SOMA was enacted effective August 6, 2007, and governs the continued monitoring of serious and violent sexual offenders. violent sexual offenders.
Shortly thereafter, defendant purposely removed his tracking device. Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of fourth-degree violation of CSL, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4d. Defendant was not charged with third-degree offenses under statutes criminalizing violations of SOMA.
For the first time on appeal, defendant argues that the GPS monitoring program retroactively enhances the penal consequences of his existing CSL sentence and thereby violates the Ex Post Facto clauses of the Federal and New Jersey Constitutions. Distinguishing Riley v. New Jersey State Parole Board, 219 N.J. 270 (2014), we conclude that the GPS monitoring did not materially increase defendant's punishment, and that the Parole Board had the authority to impose it as a condition of his CSL sentence. We also find that defendant was afforded adequate notice and the opportunity to be heard before GPS monitoring was imposed. We therefore reject defendant's ex post facto and due process arguments and affirm his conviction.