An Alabama lawmaker is seeking to offer pedophiles another option rather than prison; castration.
Since 2011, State Rep. Steve Hurst has proposed that sex offenders against pre-pubescent minors be either chemically or surgically castrated, but now he wants them to fit the bill.
Hurst has filed legislation that would require offenders by law that are convicted of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 12 to be surgically castrated before being released from prison. HB 365 is something of a passion project for Hurst, but this year he added an additional twist; requiring sex offenders pay for the operation.
Surgical castration removes a man’s testicles and could become the most cruel and unusual penalty for sex offenders in the world.
Internationally, laws regarding physical castration have received acute criticism. In 2009, the Council of Europe’s Anti-Torture Committee blasted the Czech Republic for castrating sex offenders. The committee called it “invasive, irreversible and mutilating.”
In 2014, that same committee asked Germany to stop offering surgical castration as an option for sex offenders. In Germany, surgical castration is only performed upon request by the sex offender and is rarely used.
Although nine states have variations of castration laws, all the current laws on the books are for chemical castration. Chemical castration entails giving men Depo Provera, a synthetic female hormone and can be reversed by discontinuing treatment.