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TN: Ruling could signal future change to Tennessee’s sex offender registry

[ – 4/7/21]

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Could hundreds of sex offenders be removed from the state’s sex offender registry? That’s the worry from some victim advocates following a federal court decision this week affecting two convicted sex offenders in Tennessee.

The lawsuit was filed by two anonymous convicted sex offenders, John Doe #1, and John Doe #2, who said Tennessee’s sex offender registry act should not apply to them.

That law, passed in 2004, required the two to register as sex offenders and obey distance requirements when finding a place to live or work.

But the two committed their crimes before the state legislature created the sex offender registry; so this week, a federal court ruled the registry was unconstitutional with regard to the two sex offenders because the registry punishment was created Ex Post Facto – or “after the fact” of their original crime.

“If you commit the crime, they cannot increase the punishment later, just on the whim of the legislature,” said Ed Yarbrough, attorney for the two offenders.

But the bigger impact could still lie ahead: the decision could open the door for someone to challenge Tennessee’s entire sex offender registry — potentially lining up any sex offender who committed their crime before 2004, to be removed from it.

Read the full article


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“Registry PUNISHMENT was created EX POST FACTO” that seems to say it all, doesn’t it. The registry is PUNISHMENT.

Yes, when anyone talks about the registry they tend to refer to it as a “punishment.” However, if a registrant tries to call it a punishment they are quickly corrected that it is an “administrative” function. SMH.

By legislative text, it is administrative and not punishment as affirmed by many courts, but not all.

By society’s use of it, it is continued punishment of their fellow human. When that is brought to the table for discussing, legislatures and many courts say it is only administrative based upon initial intent while they cannot control how fellow human’s use it (but aren’t afraid of the fine print caveat of what it is not to be used for). The publishing of already public information.

Therefore, when that argument is presented to legislatures, the registry is the tool that should be stricken from use because society uses it as a weapon against their fellow human. Problem is many alleged tools are used a weapons, which is not their initial intent, and they are not banished from use. The registry could be banished from use and everyone would be the wiser for it. Does society get to pick and choose what tools are banned because of possible use as weapons?

I am waiting for the day when one of the people who speaks out in favor of it has a family member with one or multiple infractions in their history and is used as an example of why they should be on a registry for their legal history. That should shut down the argument pronto.

We should create our own registry for politicians, judges, and law enforcement. Name, picture, and their home address. Maybe list a few bad things they did or laws proposed/passed. No discussion or anything. We can even have a little disclaimer that says this info is not to be used to harass them or their families. Basically, mirror ML.

It’s just and FYI, right? What the public might decide to do with this information isn’t our problem. We did all we could by including that “not for harassments” disclaimer.

“Could hundreds of sex offenders be removed from the state’s sex offender registry? That’s the worry from some victim advocates… ”

Is this a good enough reason to have a sex offender registry?? If the fear is that a past victim might accidentally encounter the individual who assaulted them while grocery shopping or standing in line to see a movie, then why isn’t there a domestic violence registry, a murder registry, a DUI manslaughter registry – all based on the exact same reasoning?? Would the victim of domestic violence not as traumatized and fearful as the victim of a sexual offense??

And couldn’t the judge’s ruling serve as a basis for removing all those individuals suffering from ex post facto registration??

The Truth is …. NO YOU CANNT KEEP APPLING PUNISHMENT !!!!! After a sentence is served this is what they have been doing here in Michigan for 25 years and the Legislation keeps allowing the punishment too get more and more severe, year after year and they get away with it by saying its amendments like they are trying too do with the back door move they just pulled with this new unconstitutional law house bill 5679 that has not addressed the fact they retroactively applied LIFE sentences via mail man years after a conviction, to thousands of men , it has not addressed the fact that you have too report in person every three months that was retroactive applied as well years after mosts convictions , Michigan has been violating its citizens rights for 25 plus years and in most cases longer then that with the B.S sex laws in Michigan you need more evidence to put someone in jail for stealing a candy bar then to pin a sex charge on a young man. Then they fock his life up forever. Sad but True! Michigan has been doing this for years and know they are wrong, I hope this judge sees the truth. No ex post facto punishment is ever ok .They should have too pay everyone on their registries disability because they are disabling those on it to be EQUAL and NORMAL , its not ok .


Im afraid you are correct. However in the recent case of Whilman VS United States, the sixth circuit found registrants are still obligated to register per SORNA, even if their state removes them (ie, new legislation, etc). which sucks, but appears to be the case. Tennesse is also covered by the sixth circuit decision. The Sixth Circuit pretty much went the opposite of what they ruled in 2016 regarding Michigan’s Registry.

@ Stan … That is not what has happened in Michigan … the State thinks they are the Judge and running the Federal Court room, The legislator is back dooring and ignoring the Federal Courts Rulings & all while asking a Federal Judge too Force pre 2011 registrants too comply to a unconstitutional new law that is just as unconstitutional as the last one that the court already ruled unconstitutional and released 5 other registrants because of a court ruling. Lets Hope this Judge sees this new law is just as bad and will not force the citizens of this state too comply to more unnecessary retroactively applied punishment any longer.

P.s ….. Lets Not forget the fact that the 1995 statue in Michigan stated in black and white…. That the registry was for law enforcement use “ONLY” not plaster peoples faces all over the internet so they can not provide for their families so their families can be treated like S*%t their kids can be tormented by evil little soccer mommies off springs, day in and day out at their schools or in the neighbor hoods where they live and play. Its SICK ! Its punishment for not just those on the registry but everyone who lives in their homes who are punished.

Last edited 2 months ago by TnT

If anyone can find one single criminal case outside of registry offenses that the registry played any role whatsoever in investigating, I will print every court document an news article related to that case and eat them.

The registry holds absolutely no value to law enforcement whatsoever beyond the federal funding to maintain it (only a fraction of which is spent doing so). For one, there’s nothing on it not available through NCIC and the state counterparts that feed it, both routinely consulted in any normal investigation anyway. For another, the accused in a sex offense is nearly always identified by the victim, and occasionally through a DNA hit. And let’s not forget that despite popular opinion, registrants for the most part aren’t committing any crimes (sexual or otherwise) outside of registry violations, most of them inadvertent or by a grossly liberal interpretation of law by arresting officers.

Michigan was essentially without a registry for the better part of last year. I haven’t researched it, but due to the lack of reporting I’m comfortable asserting that the number of arrests for new sex crimes committed by registrants there during the period when Michigan’s registry went without updates was ZERO.

The registry is and has always been about revisiting previous offenses, not preventing new ones. “Removing hundreds” of registrants – or better yet, abolishing the registry en totem – will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the number of future sex crimes. Victim “advocates” (read: those that exploit sex crime victims for their own ends) ironically fear more that victims put their ordeals behind them.

Dustin, a couple years ago, there were cop cars in front of my house with their lights on. So I went outside and asked them what was happening. Apparently, a boy living in the apartment building across the street from me didn’t come home from a friend’s house and no one could find him. The officer asked me to keep an eye out for him and let them know if the kid shows up. (Really?? I should do that?? LOL 🤣🤣🤣🤣)
Yes indeed, that Registry I’m on sure keeps the LEOs well-informed! 🤣

For a civil administration price club membership one gets:

Limited housing/ homeless
Family/friends leaving you due to stigma
Loss dating
Mob harassment
Increase in violence against you
Information plastered for all to see
Tech violations back into the system
Government whipping class

Advocates for all crimes should want to help victims overcome their trauma

The problem with that reasoning is that victim advocates need victims to remain traumatized to maintain their living.

Case in point, Samantha Geimer, the victim in the Roman Polanski affair. She’s been very vocal over the years that she was over what happened and was more traumatized by the press and victim advocates. I would think victim advocates who really want to help victims would regard her as an example. But in fact, they shun and disregard her whenever her name comes up.

This is a copy of a comment I posted elsewhere (FAC) regarding the same TN decision. It is iconoclastic, but I believe it needs to be said.

I’m going to express a viewpoint regarding victims that will probably get me hunted down by people with pitchforks and torches. I propose that when it comes to the subject of registration, the desires of victims are not relevant. (“Burn him. He’s a witch.”) Make no mistake, I do have great compassion and empathy for victims of sexual assault.

The wishes of victims are primarily driven by feelings of retribution, which are absolutely valid. “I want to hurt the person who hurt me.” The traditional justifications for judicial punishment are deterrence, incapacitation, retribution and rehabilitation. Adequate retribution is certainly necessary. However, along with the other three elements, the appropriate amount of retribution is factored in to punishment at sentencing. That is the time when victim needs, desires and anger must be strongly advocated for and then considered by the sentencing authority. Advocating for harsher punishments at various legislatures is also an option.

Short of the death penalty or imprisonment for life, some victims will never feel that their perpetrator has been adequately punished. Their feelings of “closure” will not be satisfied by anything less. Sex offender registration is ostensibly not punishment. Its stated purpose is only to enhance public safety. Whether or not a person is on the registry has nothing to do with retribution, which is thus not relevant.

Victims and those who advocate for victims rights and desires for retribution do indeed have a paramount place in the legislative and sentencing processes, but little or no place regarding sex offender registration.


Registration IS punishment and it does not enhance public safety.

I’ll caveat Ed C’s observations with the equal expectations of negative responses and feeling that this needs to be said.

In my experience, the overwhelming majority of sex crime victims do get over their ordeals and lead perfectly normal lives. Those that don’t are the ones that are (or demand to be) coddled and use the crime committed against them as a crutch or excuse for every stupid decision or mistake they ever make, to the delight of the Wendy Murphys and Lauren Books of the world, most of whom make a living exploiting those same victims for whom they claim to advocate.

There is only one valid reason to have the Hit Lists and that is to attempt to prevent any future crimes. At least that is the only significant valid reason that I can think of. Someone know others?

Given that, the Hit Lists have nothing to do with prior victims. Even the “I want to know where the person is living and working so I can keep tabs on them” nonsense isn’t valid. Who fantasizes that changes anything in reality? How ridiculous. Someone who would stalk someone and potentially murder them or whatever isn’t going to let 1,000 miles get in the way. Or the victim’s knowledge that they live 20 miles from them.

Regardless of any valid reason, there aren’t any valid excuses why a hundred other Hit Lists haven’t been created. If the criminal regimes had only used the Hit Lists as they originally lied that they would – just so that people could be “informed” – then at least the Hit Lists could have SOME chance of being considered moral, valid, and acceptable. But they grossly and immorally failed. They just couldn’t leave their shiny harassment toy alone until they completely broke and ended it. Today it’s worse than worthless.

All that said, I’ve been a victim of sex and other crimes numerous times throughout my life. All that is done. I’m not sitting around worrying about punishing those people more. On the flip side, I did something illegal and paid for it. It’s over. Initially, I felt bad about it. But as the years and harassment wore on, I was cured of that. Today, I couldn’t care less about any victims I had. If they support the Hit Lists then I’m glad they suffered, even what little it actually was. The Hit Lists have taught me that most people are walking garbage. I don’t have to care about them and shouldn’t. They are harassing enemies who must be defeated.

But yeah, sure, the Hit Lists are protecting a lot of children.

The “Hit List” is hurting more children then it is saving this is prove able , every registrants whos kids live in the same house hold suffer , bulling , ostracizing, shunned by other parents as well as kids in the community they live in. Halloween for a kid who lives in a registrants home is pure HELL on the kids, Police showing up at registrants homes is punitive to the entire family, The registry punishes the entire family that resides in the same house hold in many punitive ways. A public registry is punishment in every aspect .

No doubt about it.

I would be very, very surprised to ever see any child that lives in a Registered house that has not been bullied, ostracized, and harmed directly. Registry Supporters/Terrorists don’t care about that and they don’t care about children. They care about how they feel. They are scum.

I can’t even get started on all the negative effects on children beyond the direct attacks on them. There are just so many. And it goes on for decades. After they grow up and have their own children, it affects them as well. The Hit Lists are truly idiotic social policy.

If the law is declared punitive, wouldn’t that also prevent the State from imposing it on someone convicted elsewhere than TN? Besides an ex post facto (increasing punishment) violation, wouldn’t it also be a Sixth Amdt. violation for imposing punishment without a trial?

These rabid a-holes should’ve stuck with what SCOTUS (erroneously) said was okay. Instead, they just kept piling on and piling on.

Miriam Aukerman and ACLU-MI deserve some sort of national award for the ball they got rolling.

@Aj….long time bud! Good to see you posting again. This forum is better when you’re contributing. I agree with you in the sense that Miriam Aukerman & the ACLU deserve credit for basically getting the first domino to fall. Everybody across the country can look to those “victories” as source of precedence and something to cite in other courtrooms. However, the vast majority of the registrants in Michigan did NOT win. As it stands as of this very moment most of the tier III registrants are in the exact same spot as they were 4-6 years ago minus residency restrictions. Pending, the final ruling of Judge Cleland whose decision is likely going to depend on how offended or butt hurt is he is by the state’s defiance of his previous orders, is only going to result in more litigation. I believe those landmark victories COULD be of great benefit for people fortunate enough to have the means to represent themselves. I’m well aware that most people don’t have the means largely because their employment status has been hampered by their presence on the SOR. In my humble opinion what the ACLU has achieved will be of more use to registrants elsewhere in the country and only at a glacially pace…..

Thanks, brother. I had to take a sabbatical; I found myself getting too negative and angry not only with the topics, but some of those posting. I didn’t like that about myself nor the effect it had on my interactions.

I completely agree that the ball-rolling ACLU-MI has done isn’t nearly enough, particularly for those in its backyard. I don’t think anyone can dispute that it has cast light on the whole BS scheme that is the registry. Other disagree with me but I say we have the momentum, even if it’s ever so slight.

Nashville’s Sexual Assault Center says that could discourage current and future victims of sexual assault from coming forward to report an already underreported crime.

“We would worry that victims and survivors of sexual assault would feel more discouraged and less empowered to come forward and report their abuse,” said Rachel Freeman with the Nashville Sexual Assault Center.

These people have it exactly backwards. NOT having dad, mom, uncle, sister, etc., publicly exposed will most likely increase reporting, especially in cases where it’s the breadwinner who’s at risk. As for the second paragraph, why would a “non-punitive regulatory scheme” (tyvm SCOTUS) have any impact on someone coming forward? It’s almost as those it’s viewed as punishment. Huh.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x