If you were a criminal in the '80s, the cops basically had two options of what to do with you if they arrested you: freedom or jail, with the only middle ground being probation, which is really freedom, but you have to write to them every now and then to let them know how you're doing (cops are very needy). But that all changed in 1983 thanks to the introduction of ankle tracking monitors and Spider-Man, who fights crime so well that he found a way to screw over criminals even in the real world.
The real-life story behind ankle tracking monitors, those pesky things we use to track criminals under house arrest, started in 1983 when a New Mexico district court judge, Jack Love (we swear to God this is his real name), was reading an old Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip from 1977. In the comic, the Kingpin captures Spider-Man and puts an "electronic radar device" on his wrist to track where he goes, 'cause Kingpin's got trust issues.
"Seems weird of me to mention my hidden laser key, but I'm sure you won't take advantage of that information. Later!"
Judge Love read the comic (when he wasn't busy hosting our fake reality show, Love and Order) and thought, "Boy, that Kingpin fella seems pretty on the ball; I wonder if I could exploit his ideas. For justice." He contacted his friend Michael Goss, a computer programmer, and Goss was immediately on board to pioneer the delicate art of tracking people with robots.
The invention started out as an "electronic handcuff" but eventually morphed into the ankle monitor we know, love, and claw at today. Goss ended up leaving his job and starting the National Incarceration Monitoring and Control Services (NIMCOS), and in less than four years, 21 states were using the devices to track criminals on parole. Today we use them across the country to track pedophiles, parolees, and immigrants. Meanwhile, Judge Love, who could have said he thought of the idea all by himself, chose to let everyone know that he stole it from a children's newspaper strip. But he also got to be the first to sentence a person to electronic monitoring as punishment, nicely enforcing the classic Spider-Man motto: "With great power comes great responsibility to not leave your house and murder people."
"Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish writing my legal romance novel, Serving 30-to-Love."