The Tennessee State Legislature debated whether to require juvenile sex offenders to be placed on the sex offender registry .The sex offender registry got it’s start under the Adam Walsh Act. Melanie Bean , a criminal defense attorney from Lebanon , Tennessee is the Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Tennessee Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She attended the meetings are here are her observations.Melanie has done a great job in following these bills.
After over three hours of testimony yesterday in the House Judiciary
Committee, the proposed bill that would establish a juvenile sex
offender registry was rolled one week for further testimony.
Juvenile Judges, mental health professionals, and others all testified
persuasively in opposition to the bill, which garnered some questions
from the Committee about possible amendments needed to the bill.
Overall it appears votes are there to pass a registry bill; therefore,
adding amendments that would establish judicial discretion and/or
nonpublic registry until child turns 18 are being discussed, among other
options are being sought.
Judge Irwin (Knox county), Magistrate Carlton Lewis (Davidson County), and Judge
Tatum(Wilson County) were exceptionally persuasive along with a Clinical
Psychologist from Vanderbilt who likewise did an excellent job.
All the professionals and juvenile judges don’t think it’s a good idea to require juveniles to be on the sex offender registry.one reason is the District Attorney’s Office can seek a transfer to Adult court if they think a person poses a risk to society.It’s important not to scare a juvenile for the just of their lives. Call your state legislator and express your thoughts to them.