Because most Americans agree that criminals who steal the innocence of children are among the worst of the worst, Alabama has decided to pass a chemical castration bill that would forever change any person convicted of an abhorrent sex crime against a child under the age of thirteen, which is a measure approved by most people across the state.
State Representative Steve Hurst, a Republican, introduced the bill. It was passed by the state legislature and was recently signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. Because the state wants to make it abundantly clear that child molesters are not welcome, the law now requires that any child sex offenders over the age of 21 will be chemically castrated before they leave prison and entered society again.
“They have marked this child for life, and the punishment should fit the crime,” Hurst said.
The Republican hopes that this drastic punishment will make a would-be child molester think twice before committing such a heinous crime against the youth of the state.
Since the chemical castration of child molesters is now the law of the land for those living in Alabama, it was decided that the Alabama Department of Public Health would administer the chemicals that reduce or block the production of testosterone in the body.
While many support the harsh punishment of child molesters, others believe that the punishment is too intense, even for a convicted child molester.
State Rep. Juandallynn Givan believes that it should be reconsidered because the urge to molest a child is not usually physical but psychological.
“You have to deal with the mind of a predator,” she said. “You don’t worry about the physical body parts. You have to deal with what makes them do what they do.”
In other words, Givan believes that chemically castrating convicted child sex offenders might not do what the legislators hope it will do. Instead, there is a deeper problem, a psychological problem that motivates these predators to target children.
Chemical castration would begin one month before the convict is set to be released from prison. The treatments would continue until a court decides otherwise.
State Rep. Allen Treadaway was in support of the law.
“Any action that we can take against a child molester that would prevent them from ever committing this type of crime again, I support, including chemical castration. I think this bill is one of those steps to ensure public safety.”
Although many people are in support of the imitative, others think there could be a better way to go about it. However, it is hard enough to identify people who are at risk of committing sex crimes against children. If they were easy to spot, people would have already been able to offer them counseling or alternative therapies.
The sex offender would have to pay for their own medication and would face a felony charge if they stop taking the chemicals that inhibit their testosterone.
Attorney Raymond Johnson predicts that the law will be challenged under the Eighth Amendment, which protects Americans against cruel and unusual punishment.