Alabama passes new bill to chemically castrate paedophiles
A new measure that requires certain sex offenders to undergo chemical castration has been passed in Alabama, and is now awaiting the governor's signature.
The HB 379 bill was introduced by Republican state representative Steve Hurst, and will target sex offenders whose offences involve any minor under the age of 13.
According to the legislation, these offenders will be required to undergo chemical castration before prison release. Refusing to do so will constitute a violation of parole, and the offender will also have to pay the bill for the procedure.
"They have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime," Hurst said in Birmingham, explaining that the aim of the bill is to reduce the number of sex crimes against children by deterring potential offenders. Speaking to WIAT-TV, he said:
"If we do something of this nature it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers. I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, 'Don't you think this is 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. If you want to talk about inhumane - that's inhumane."
Several other US states have already passed similar chemical castration bills in the past, but it isn't known how often the procedure actually takes place.
Attorney Raymond Johnson told the same station that molestation is already a serious offence in Alabama, punishable with both prison time and probation after initial parole - and that the bill will be challenged regardless of the governor's decision.
"They're going to challenge it under the Eighth Amendment Constitution," Johnson said. "They're going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time."
The bill was given to Republican Governor Kay Ivey over the weekend, and is currently awaiting her signature.