A Republican lawmaker in Oklahoma proposed a bill last year that would have authorized the treatment there, but the measure failed. The dosage would depend on the specific hormone-suppressing drug, Berlin said, but all chemical castration drugs would work for only as long as the person kept taking it. Side effects of the treatment can include depression, osteoporosis and anemia.
Chemical castration required for some sex offenders under Ala. bill
Other possible side effects include anaphylaxis, kidney failure or heart failure, depending on the medication used. Laws requiring chemical castration have come up against questions of constitutionality. This process, he said, means if the public hates or strongly fears a group of people, the court is likely to support most punishments inflicted upon them. Even if chemical castration is allowed, Stinneford said, it might fail to rehabilitate offenders because some of the side effects are so unpleasant.
Paroled perpetrators might choose to flee from their supervision to avoid taking the drug, which would make them more of a public threat, Stinneford said.
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Randall Marshall, the executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said his organization considers chemical castration to be unconstitutional on other grounds, such as due process and the right to privacy. Similar laws passed in other states to require chemical castration are rarely used, Marshall said. Postmedia is pleased to bring you a new commenting experience.
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Others have argued unsuccessfully that forced castration violates the protection against cruel and unusual punishment guaranteed by the Eighth Amendment to the U. Since the mid ' s states have allowed, and in certain instances required, castration as a way of penalizing sexual offenders or as a condition to their release from custody.
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Table 1 shows castration laws by state. Table 1: Castration Laws by State.
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Laws on Castration. Courts may order first offenders of certain sex crimes committed against children under age 13 to undergo MPA treatment or its chemical equivalent before they are paroled. They must order repeat offenders on parole to undergo such treatment before parole. Offenders may choose surgical castration instead of chemical treatment. The Department of Corrections DOC administers the treatment, which parolees must begin one week before their release from custody and must continue until DOC determines that it is no longer necessary.
The crimes that could subject parolees to chemical castration are:.
Courts may sentence first offenders convicted of sexual battery to MPA treatment. Courts must sentence repeat offenders of this crime to treatment. A sentence of treatment does not replace or reduce any other penalty the court could impose. The court order must specify the duration of treatment, up to life. In lieu of treatment, a defendant may ask for and a court may order physical castration if it finds the defendant ' s consent to be intelligent, knowing, and voluntary.
A court order for treatment is contingent upon a court-appointed medical expert ' s determination that the defendant is an appropriate candidate. The expert must make the determination within 60 days after sentencing. In cases where a defendant is sentenced to a period of incarceration, treatment must begin at least one week before his release. The DOC administers the treatment. A sentencing court may require a person convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child under age 16 to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether MPA chemical treatment or its equivalent would be effective in changing the offender ' s behavior.
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If it would, the court may require treatment as a condition of probation. An offender who is in custody when sentenced and who is required to undergo treatment as a condition of probation must begin treatment before his release. If he is not in custody at the time of sentencing, he must be taken into custody to begin treatment. Treatment must continue after the offender is released and until he demonstrates to the court that treatment is no longer necessary.
Alabama approves chemical castration for some sex offenders
The offender must be advised of the treatment ' s side effects and must consent to the treatment in writing. First offenders convicted of sex crimes against minors age 12 or younger and certain repeat offenders must have a mental health evaluation, including a treatment plan, before they are eligible for probation, parole, or a sentence reduction or suspension. The Alabama bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Steve Hurst, would require sex offenders whose crimes involved children younger than 13 to receive the medication before being released from prison on parole.
They would then be required to continue the medication until a judge decided they could stop. Early versions of the bill, which did not pass, would have mandated permanent surgical castration. During the debate, Hurst acknowledged the measure was not a cure-all since it may not work for everyone and offenders could find other ways to molest children.