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Sex offender registration alleged unconstitutional

Every person in Tennessee is guaranteed some basic rights even if convicted of a criminal offense. That is part of what people in the United States are supposed to be able to count on thanks to the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments. However, sometimes it seems that some rights are not properly respected and are, in fact, violated even by the entities tasked with upholding the laws.

This is what some are alleging has been happening in Tennessee for a while now. People who are convicted of sex crimes in the state may be required to register with the sex offender registry program. Since the inception of this program, the requirements that registrants were bound by have changed quite dramatically. There are far more restrictions in place today than there were 20 or more years ago.

For example, in 1994 there were no limits on where a registrant could live or work but today there are. The state applies those newly instituted requirements to people convicted before the changes were made. A lawsuit filed recently in the U.S. District Court of Nashville alleges that this is in direct violation of a clause called the ex post facto as well as an Amendment to the Constitution.

People convicted of sex crimes deserve the right to re-establish their lives in positive ways. Anyone who faces these types of charges or the challenges related to the retroactivity of changes to the sex offender program may wish to talk with an attorney to learn how they can take care of themselves.

 

Source: The Tennessean, “Lawsuit challenges Tennessee sex offender registry,” Stacy Barchenger, Nov. 9, 2016

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