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.

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

“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 .

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 years 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.

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

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.


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.

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.

Just wondering if this will come to Alabama I caught my charge in 98 and was sentence in 99 and completed it in 01 do I qualify