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TN: Tennessee bill would give life in prison to those guilty of aggravated rape of a child

[ – 1/30/19]

A new bill proposed in Tennessee would, if passed, sentence those found guilty of aggravated rape of a child to life in prison.

Under the state’s current laws, those convicted of the crime can be sentenced to anywhere between 15 to 60 years in prison and receive a fine of up to $50,000.

The new bill, also known as HB283, would increase the punishment for the crime, which would be classified as a Class A felony under state law, to life in prison without possibility for parole.

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  1. Timothy

    How long before some kid gets life for humping his kin folk? As if they need actual evidence in molestation cases anyway. They don’t ask the Kellers! Life for touching nuthin for aborting? Out of whack!

  2. Eric

    Well the problem here is that the justice system can’t seem to define particular crimes, especially with the bargaining and plea deals crimes get the name changed from one court date to the next. So a person charged with this may or may not have actually done this. An actually forced rape is a terrible thing, but the justice system is just too inconsistent to allow these mandatory sentences.

  3. My say

    Even as a registrant I am fine with that. Life for aggravated rape of a child seems fair.

    However as others here have questioned, what does the law constitute as that crime? When i read it, it means physical assault/forced or threatened. When they read it, it might mean touching a child’s shoulder. Laws and the wording without clear definition can be a problem. Often is.

    • Agree

      I agree. The registrant laws by themselves are ridiculous. But I will not support the cruel act of abuse on any person, let alone a child. While I think life in prison is harsh for even the most vicious of 1st time offenders, any crime that has aggravated tacked on to it should be extended by a while , say 50% more time.

      • steve@ my say @ agree

        Yeah as soon as they say slapping a butt is aggrevated you’ll be rethinking how this law ain’t so bad.

    • Will Allen

      I can’t agree that “life” is appropriate for about any first offense.

      I’ve found that basically good people can be doing terrible things until/unless they suffer consequences. So I think we’ve got to give people a chance. It is terrible what some people do, but I can’t toss people away. If I could, I’d say that anyone who supports the Registries today deserves to be killed. But instead I feel if they stop supporting the Registries (i.e. stop being a piece of sh*t), then they can be forgiven. A person can be awful today and not in the future.

      Additionally, I do think that people ought to consider that YOU could be that awful person if you walk in the same shoes that the criminal did. No one should feel that they are so high and mighty that the criminal that you want to imprison for life, couldn’t be YOU. Or your children. Or their children.

      People get where they are for a reason. Have to give people a chance to be punished and then be good. If people disagree with that then I really, really hope the people that we are locking up for life are THEIR children. Not our children. Their children.

      Lastly, we can’t trust our big, out-of-control governments to fairly pick who should be locked up for life. When it comes to $EX, they can’t be trusted at all.

    • jesse

      Agree, it seems fair. But only as long as, say, the killing of a child comes with the automatic and immediate death penalty.

      One cornerstone of a functioning criminal justice system is proportionality. That ship, of course, sailed a long time ago in that it is quite easy to get a harsher sentence for, say, possessing photos than killing someone.

  4. Joe123

    Lawmakers needs to stay out of the courtroom; that is what we have a judge’s discretion for.

    • Dustin


      The fly in that ointment is that most criminal/superior court judges are elected, therefore every bit as much a politician as legislators. More often than not, judicial discretion is bent first toward reelection, then personal bias and advocacy, then (if at all) the law, justice, and/or fairness. That’s how exceptions get read into sex law, whether the legislature put them there or not.

      • Timmmy

        On there bright side, here is a rational decision finally in the news.

        “Kansas judge calls girls, 13 and 14, the ‘aggressor’ in a child sex solicitation case

        A Kansas judge has come under fire for saying in court that two girls–solicited by an online predator to have sex with him when they were 13 and 14–were partly to blame for what happened to them.

        I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct,” Leavenworth County Judge Michael Gibbens said in remarks delivered at a December sentencing for a 67-year-old man who paid for sex with the two girls, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.”

  5. Chris

    The problem is that people will be less likely to go to trial. You may have innocent people when facing life in prison will take a plea deal cause fighting is not worth the risk. Much like the drug free school zones this creates a drive for law enforcement and district attorneys offices to charge people with agg rape of a child because it will be a huge negotiating position. Already our legislature has warped our criminal justice system beyond recognition by giving so many advantages to the state that few wish to pay the penalty of going to trial. Innocent people would go to prison and take deals they otherwise would fight because of this.

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