The cycle of trauma created for children who’ve suffered sexual abuse is unfair. Some lawmakers are looking to make the punishment more harsh for sexual offenders. In Alabama, legislators have passed a bill that will require pedophiles to undergo chemical castration as a condition of their parole.
If Governor Kay Ivey decides to sign off on this new castration bill, entitled House Bill 379, it will apply to people over the age of 21 who have been convicted of sexually assaulting a minor.
Republican state Representative Steve Hurst introduced the bill explaining pedophiles “have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime.” He believes the bill will prevent sex offenders from committing the crime. “I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, ‘Don’t you think this is inhumane?’” Hurst told WIAT-TV.
“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. If you want to talk about inhumane, that’s inhumane.” “If we do something of this nature, it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers,” said Hurst.
Hurst’s initial bill, which was introduced back in 2016, stated child molesters older than 21 would have to pay for their own surgical castration before being released from state custody. The updated bill is taking a slightly different approach and would make felons take medication that interferes with their sex drive. The first dose would be given to them at least one month prior to the offender’s release. Afterwards, they would have to go to the Department of Public Health for the next treatment.
Hurst says the medication is not permanent, as the castration can be reversed, but the court would have to decide when that can happen. Attorney Raymond Johnson told WIAT-TV the bill may face a challenge if it is signed into law because the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevents cruel and unusual punishment. “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,” Johnson said. The attorney argues that the amount of prison time should be sufficient in paying what you owe to society, which includes probation or parole.