U.S. judge in Tennessee orders men removed from sex offense registry citing “retroactive punishment”
By Ayumi Davis . . . U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger ordered the removal of eight men from the sex offender registry to end their retroactive punishments.
“Tennessee officials continue to flout the Constitution’s guarantees,” Trauger wrote in her ruling Friday. “The federal district courts of this state have repeatedly concluded that the same analysis applies … to Tennessee’s own, very similar scheme and policies. Tennessee officials have continued to impose the state’s repeatedly-held-to-be-unlawful policy on other, similarly situated individuals” despite rulings, she said.
Governments are prohibited from giving more punishment for a crime that was committed previously under the Ex Post Facto of the U.S. Constitution clause, according to The Associated Press. A judge must decide that the law being implemented retroactively is penal to find a clause violation. Trauger said the violation doesn’t depend on the plaintiffs’ hardship, but rather the punitive nature of the law.
Trauger also cited an April ruling where another federal judge in the Middle District of Tennessee ruled that two men should be removed from the sex offender registry. The judge determined enforcing laws created after the committed crimes were unconstitutional.