Several months ago several TN Senators and Representatives were hell-bent on passing a two-fold law aimed at further punishment against registrants.
The first part of the law would have increased the boundary restrictions for registrants from 1,000 ft. to 2,000 ft., thankfully, this portion of the law was abandoned.
However, the second part of the law was passed and it is already bringing in to question the amount of “functioning gray matter” that these legislators actually have.
Here’s the new law as it is written:
State of TN /Senate Bill 425/Substituted for HB 407
By Doggett, Griffey, Littleton, Smith, Helton, Ogles, Hardaway, Hazelwood
An Act to amend TN Code Annotated, Title 40, Chapter 39, relative to sexual and violent sexual offenders.
Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state of TN:
Section 1. TN Code Annotated, Section 40-39-211©, is amended by deleting the subsection and substituting instead the following:
© While mandated to comply with the requirements of this part, no sexual offender or violent sexual offender, whose victim was a minor, shall knowingly reside or conduct an overnight visit at a residence in which a minor resides or is present. Notwithstanding this subsection ©, the offender may reside, conduct an overnight visit, or be alone with a minor if the offender is the parent of the minor, unless one (1) of the following conditions applies:
(1) The offender’s parental rights have been or are in the process of being terminated as provided by law;
(2) Any minor or adult child of the offender was a victim of a sexual offense or violent sexual offense committed by the offender; or
(3) The offender has been convicted of a sexual offense or violent offense the victim of which was a child under twelve (12) years of age.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019, the public welfare requiring it.
“The public welfare requiring it.”
That last line is bothersome, I’m part of the general public and I don’t think my welfare requires this kind of law at all. If they surveyed the general public, would they think this kind of blanket law for registrants was really necessary? Of course not, but then the general public doesn’t get a vote when it comes to these sham laws, they’re voted on by those God fearing legislators in Nashville.
The local registry office is already asserting their power, intimidating registrants with this new law.
This week a registrant in TN contacted a city registry office to inquire about a change of address procedure.
After the registrant was informed that the new address “seems” OK, (that makes you feel real secure about your new address, doesn’t it, it “seems” OK?) the registrant was asked “Do you have any children?” When the registrant replied NO, he was advised that as of July 1, 2019, no registrants, under no circumstances, would be able to reside overnight in the same household as a minor child. None, no one, nowhere, no way. Not even if they’re your own children. End of discussion.
When one reads this idiotic (there is just no other word to describe it) law, it doesn’t take in to account the fact that there is a boat-load of sexual offenses. There is an infinitely vast chasm between a benign sexual offense that involves no contact and often, no sex, and a violent sexual offense. But in this law, every offense is treated the same, every registrant, regardless of circumstances, is treated the same. The 3 qualifying conditions which would probably disqualify most registrants (the law continues to label them “offenders”) from being able to remain in a home overnight, does not offer any leeway for parents already existing in homes with their children or for those who may want children in the future.
Like Alabama’s recent ridiculously punitive chemical castration law, this TN law is “forced birth control”, the idea being that if you’re thinking of starting a family but know that you won’t ever be allowed to reside in a home overnight with your own minor children, maybe you’d think twice about ever having any kids. Southern legislators trying to wipe out an entire population, the future children of registrants.
What is it with these southern legislators? Heart-beat abortion laws, chemical castration laws and now denying registrants the right to sleep under the same roof as their own children. Maybe the southern heat has finally fried their brains. Perhaps they just want to deny any and all registrants the right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if it includes children.
So, what is going to happen on July 1, 2019?
Will law enforcement begin nightly raids, going door to door, checking to see if registrants are sleeping in homes where minor children reside, will they be pulled from their beds in the middle of the night for violating the law? Will over-night registrant tent cities pop up, places where registrants must go to sleep? Maybe those TN Senators and Representatives who voted for this law, who don’t have minor children, wouldn’t mind opening their homes to those registrants of their districts who now find themselves without a place to sleep. After all, they’re the ones that created this new over-night homeless problem.
And how will the taxpayers feel about their town’s law enforcement tied up every night checking on the whereabouts of registrants? Shouldn’t they be busy fighting real crimes?
More importantly, are these Senators and Representatives going to accept responsibility for their thoughtless actions, putting yet another punitive law into effect that will have registrants becoming increasingly depressed, despondent and suicidal at the thought of yet one more restriction placed on their lives?
Here’s hoping that there’s some TN defense attorneys with big enough cojones that are willing to stand up and fight this injustice on July 1, when the first registrant is yanked out of bed, away from their families and thrown in jail for violating this archaic punitive law.