TN: “Process” in a child exploitation statute does not include SWs; legislature could have added SWs if it intended that

“We granted permission to appeal in this case in order to determine whether Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-1007, which provides that ‘[n]o process, except as otherwise provided, shall be issued for the violation of [the statutes proscribing the offenses of sexual exploitation of a minor] unless it is issued upon the application of the district attorney general of the district,’ applies to search warrants sought and obtained prior to the commencement of a prosecution for sexual exploitation of a minor. In this case, a police officer applied for and obtained the search warrant by which pornographic images of minors were recovered from the Defendant’s computer. The Defendant sought to suppress the evidence on the basis that the search warrant was not applied for by the district attorney general. The trial court denied the Defendant’s motion to suppress, and the Defendant subsequently pled guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, reserving as a certified question the efficacy of the search warrant. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling and the Defendant’s conviction. We hold that Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-17-1007 does not require search warrants to be applied for by the office of the district attorney general. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment below.” If the legislature wanted to be more specific and include search warrants it would have done so. [The court doesn’t discuss it, but the good faith exception would likely have applied if it had to.] State v. Miller, 2019 Tenn. LEXIS 216 (May 23, 2019).

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