Child Sex Offenders To Be Chemically Castrated Before Parole Under New Law
Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Alabama have passed a bill that would see certain convicted sex offenders forced to undergo chemical castration before they are released.
While the proposed law is still being reviewed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, if it passes it would see parolees over the age of 21 who are convicted of sex offences involving a child under the age of 13 undergo chemical castration treatment as part of their parole conditions.
Those eligible would also be required to pay for the treatment themselves, and if they refuse to undergo the castration would be remanded back to prison.
According to the Bill, chemical castration involves the use of certain medication, mostly commonly medroxyprogesterone acetate, which "reduces, inhibits or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person's body".
Republican state Rep. Steve Hurst who introduced the bill, which is known as House Bill 379, said convicted paedophiles "have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime".
He said people had challenged the idea for the bill previously as being "inhumane".
"I asked them what's more inhumane than when you take a little infant child, and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through," Hurst said.
If you want to talk about inhumane, that's inhumane.
An earlier bill introduced by Hurst in 2016, would have required child molesters older than 21 to pay for their own surgical castration before being released from state custody.
The new bill would require the felons to take medication that interferes with their sex drive.
If enacted the law would require the person to begin undergoing treatment by one month prior to their release and to continue receiving treatment until a court determines that it is no longer necessary.
Ivey is yet to review the law, but some legal experts have warned that even if the bill is passed it could be challenged under the eighth amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"They're going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time and for the rest of their life have to be castrated," Attorney Raymon Johnson told CBS affiliate WIAT-TV.
According to local media, several other U.S. states have already enacted similar laws in the past.
The use of anti-libidinal medication is not unheard of in Australia but has not been enacted into a specific law, with a limited number of prisoners able to undergo the treatment on a voluntary basis.
In 2015 a NSW taskforce introduced by then Police Minister Troy Grant considered mandating the treatment for all child sex offenders in the state.
Alabama lawmakers have already made headlines this year after introducing a controversial abortion ban which made no exceptions for rape and incest.
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