Late Monday night, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that requires those who have been convicted of sex crimes against children 13 years old or younger to be chemically castrated before they are released on parole.
Republican Steve Hurst, who actually introduced the bill, said: “If they’re going to mark these children for life, they need to be marked for life…” He took his commits a bit further when he said, “My preference would be if someone does a small infant child like that, they need to die.”
Chemical castration incorporates the use of medication that prohibits the production of testosterone. The drug will be given to offenders a month before they are released on parole. The treatment will continue until a judge says otherwise.
Since the treatment requires a continuation in order for it to be effective, it’s considered completely reversible. In a majority of states that accept this type of punishment, the offender is given the option to volunteer for the medication in order to expedite their parole. This doesn’t seem to be the case for the state of Alabama. It is a required measure upon release.
The bill will be implemented starting in September of 2019. The punishment of chemical castration will only be given to those who commit sex crimes after September 1st. Anyone convicted beforehand will receive the current penalty for their actions.
Alabama joins California, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin as the 7th state that approves of chemical castration. The U.S. territory of Guam also permits this procedure but has never actually implemented it.
Formerly mentioned Republican Steve Hurst has been pushing for this bill for over a decade. However, many human-rights groups are in stark opposition to the idea.
Director of the Alabama American Civil Liberties Union chapter, Randall Marshall says, “It could be cruel and unusual punishment. It also implicates the right to privacy. Forced medications are all concerns.”
Marshall also believes that those who advocate for chemical castration misunderstand that sexual assault is not about sexual gratification. But rather it’s about power and control. He refers to the punishment as inhuman.
Steve Hurst completely disagrees. He replies, “…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…”