NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A child molester's past will follow him into the courtrooms of Tennessee soon.
Until now, if a charged child molester had a previous conviction for a similar crime, the jury would never hear about it.
Now, if the prior conviction and the current one are of specified crimes, the earlier conviction can be introduced.
This year's bill was brought up by Sen. Tim Burchett, a Knoxville Republican, after he was contacted by jurors who acquitted a man of assaulting a 12-year-old boy.
The bill passed with little opposition in the Legislature after Attorney General Paul Summers said it would be defensible on constitutional grounds.