A new bill known as HB 379 is the latest Alabama measure to punish sick and twisted child sex offenders. The bill would require that certain child sex offenders endure a procedure which would administer a chemical castration, prior to being released from prison. According to the legislation, it is designed to target specifically child sex offenders who were arrested for offenses that involved anyone under 13 years old. HB 379 was introduced by Republican state Representative Steve Hurst and is ready to be enacted into law pending only the Governor Kay Ivey’s signature.
“They have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime,” Hurst told WIAT-TV in Birmingham. Any qualifying offenders would be obligated to foot the bill for the procedure. The bill states that those who refuse to have the chemical castration administered to them, would be considered in violation of their parole and they would be immediately arrested. The treatment, which uses drugs to block the production of testosterone and hormones will begin a month prior to the sex offender’s release from prison and will continue up until a judge decides that it is no longer necessary for the criminal to undergo treatment. Differing from surgical castration – which involves that one’s genitals be removed – chemical castration uses these drugs to effectively shut down sexual urges.
Hurst said his aim is to reduce the number of sex crimes committed against children by making potential offenders think twice before they act knowing that they could be affected for life, in a similar manner to the way that their heinous crimes affect their innocent victims. “If we do something of this nature it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers,” said Hurst. “I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, ‘Don’t you think this is inhumane?’” Hurst said of the bill. “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.”
Attorney Raymond Johnson told the station that child molestation is already a serious offense punishable with prison time and probation after parole. “They’re going to challenge it under the Eighth Amendment Constitution, Johnson told the news outlet. “They’re going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time.” Several other states have already passed chemical castration bills, but it is not known exactly how often the practice is used on these evil sex offenders.
The bill was sent to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk over the weekend and awaits her signature. Republican lawmakers have made strides in terms of protecting children in Alabama, beginning first with the issue of the murder of children while in the womb, and now tackling the issue of child molestation. One can only hope that this law will make an enormous impact in the way of protecting the youth from sex offenders.