|Attorney General Greg Isaacs|
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Attorney and 6 News legal analyst Greg Isaacs explained the state sex offender registry during this week's "Ask Isaacs" segment, and how members of the public can use it.
Those who are convicted of a sex crime are required to submit a DNA sample, fingerprints, a photograph, and to register in the county in which they reside.
"There are certain provisions which are designed to protect young children," explained Isaacs. "[Registered offenders] cannot be within a thousand feet of a daycare, a public park, a school, or a place where they have athletic events."
- And the irony of it is that if a person wanted to harm a child or adult, they could and nothing about these laws would "protect" them. The laws are only for those who have been caught, but a vast majority of all sexual crimes are by those not caught yet, and those who have, don't often re-offend, so it's pretty much a useless law that is a false sense of security.
Those who break those rules violate their probation and commit another crime.
- Not exactly true! Not everyone forced to register, against their will, is on probation or parole.
Isaacs also says members of the public can use the sex offender registry website or mobile app to be aware of sex offenders in your neighborhood.
- Being aware of ex-sex offenders doesn't prevent someone from committing another related or unrelated crime, if they wanted to, but the fact is, most ex-offenders do not re-offend, as we mentioned above.
"If you go on the TBI website and you punch in your zip code, they will give you the name and address, along with a picture, of every registered sex offender in your postal zone," said Isaacs.
There are ways to get off the sex offender register, according to Isaacs.
"If 10 years has passed since your conviction, and you're a non-violent offender, you can petition to be removed. Also, there's a change in the law. If you committed statutory rape before 2006, you can petition to be removed also."
Otherwise, convicted sex offenders are on the registry for life.
- This is an example of lifetime punishment when, in most cases, the punishment doesn't fit the crime which at one time was unconstitutional.