Child sex offenders are among the most despised criminals in the public eye. Now Alabama wants to do something about it and a new law just passed the state legislature to deal with convicted offenders. That bill if signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey will allow the chemical castration of offenders.
The bill was sponsored by Alabama lawmaker Steve Hurst (R) and passed the state house on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Hurst told local news outlet WIAT-TV, that chemical castration for convicted child sex offenders is an appropriate punishment. He is quoted as saying “They have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime.”
If signed into law, Alabama will become the ninth state that has some form of chemical castration on its books. The states that currently allow chemical castration are California, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Oregon, Montana, and Wisconsin. California, Florida, and Louisiana give sex offenders the option of chemical or surgical castration, which is the physical removal of testicles.
Each state has different requirements that trigger the castration procedure. However, the ACLU and other groups are opposed to chemical castration and believe it is a violation of the constitution. The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the government from inflicting “cruel and unusual punishments” on Americans.
The chemical castration process entails giving the offender hormone therapy that reduces the amount of testosterone produced by a man. This means giving a man medroxyprogesterone (MPA), an artificial female hormone used to treat symptoms of menopause. The hormone reduces testosterone in men to a pre-puberty level. However, persons taking such a hormone reducing drug are susceptible to dangerous blood clots and deadly allergic reactions according to the National Institute for Health.