EM and the Law
Min Sik Kim shot and killed a man who tried to rob his convenience store in 2016. While he was awaiting trial, Kim spent 450 days on an electronic monitor. He eventually pleaded guilt to second degree murder and received a sentence of 8.5 years. The court gave him no credit for the time spent on EM. Kim appealed arguing that EM was a form of punishment and that the existing policy in Washington of granting some individuals credit for time served on EM but not those convicted of “serious” crimes violated the principle of equal protection under the law. The court rejected both grounds of the appeal contending that electronic monitoring was a “punishment alternative,” not punishment. The court also concluded that the state has a legitimate interest in treating those convicted of serious crimes differently from those convicted of lesser offenses as long as the different treatment was not based on race, gender, or any other category protected as a “class” under the law.