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July 22, 2005

Alabama House seeks mandatory castration(!) for certain sex offenders

I have previously discussed in this post and elsewhere the new criminal justice legislation resulting from the modern social panic over sex offenders (which generally is, like so many criminal justice developments, driven more by headline-making anecdotes of horrible individual cases rather than by refined data-driven policy analysis).  Whether through residency restrictions or tougher sentences, many legislators are seeking to flex their "get tough" muscles through new criminal laws targeting sex offenders. 

But, as detailed in this AP article, the Alabama House has taken these developments to new heights:

The House passed a bill Thursday that would require mandatory castration of persons convicted of violent sex crimes against children under 12 and would require them to wear electronic monitoring devices for the rest of their lives after release from prison.

The House, during more than three hours of debate, heavily amended the legislation proposed by Gov. Bob Riley and Attorney General Troy King.  The House bill would prevent all convicted sex offenders from working or loitering within 500 feet of a school, park or business that educates or entertains children. The bill passed the House 96-0.

As the AP article details, a "milder version of the legislation passed the Senate 35-0 [which] provides stiffer penalties for sex offenders, provides for electronic monitoring for at least 10 years and toughens requirements for them to report their location to police, but does not include the castration requirement or other tougher language added in the House."  The article also notes that at least some members of the House realize they might have gone too far:

House Speaker Seth Hammett later said he was concerned the House might have amended the bill so much that it is no longer constitutional.   He said he hopes the final version that comes out of the special session will be closer to what was recommended by the governor and King [and was passed in the Alabama Senate].

July 22, 2005 at 04:40 PM | Permalink

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Alabama House seeks mandatory castration(!) for certain sex offenders:

» Alabama House Passes Mandatory Castration Law from Injustice Anywhere . . .
Professor Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy takes note of some interesting legislative developments down South. [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 22, 2005 5:10:29 PM

» Ala. House Seeks Mandatory Castration for Sex Offenders from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Sentencing Law and Policy reports on a new bill in Alabama that seeks mandatory castration for certain sex offenders. Here's the AP article. The House passed a bill Thursday that would require mandatory castration of persons convicted of violent sex... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 22, 2005 6:21:36 PM

» Off with their [family jewels]! from a Public Defender
It's final. We have now descended into the mystical, topsy-turvy, crazy and non-sensensical world of Alice and the Rabbit-Hole. The sex offender frenzy has reached impalatable and ridiculous heights. The Alabama House recently passed a bill calling for... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 22, 2005 7:38:24 PM

» Off with their [family jewels]! from a Public Defender
It's final. We have now descended into the mystical, topsy-turvy, crazy and non-sensensical world of Alice and the Rabbit-Hole. The sex offender frenzy has reached impalatable and ridiculous heights. Prof. Berman reports that the Alabama House recently... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 22, 2005 7:43:19 PM

» BillBlast: Castration For Sex Offenders? from Beltway Blogroll
A vote in Alabama's House has caught the attention of some bloggers. The bill, which the House passed Thursday, would mandate castration for people convicted of sex offenses against people younger the 12 and require the offenders to be monitored... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 23, 2005 11:58:15 AM

» For Once I Wish That I Agreed With Alabama from The Debate Link
The good news: In retrospect, they now have come to the realization that it might be a wee bit unconstitutional. The bad news: They may be wrong. [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 25, 2005 11:02:23 PM

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Comments

going on four years now my grand daughter still lives with the fear of her step father. she went through voice test and passed went through dhr and passed he did nothing and was set free it was heard before grand jury in fayette co and someone new how to ask the questions the way they would not get a yes on him. then we find out it happened in marion couty not fayette and due to family of this nut they would not hear the case and said we needed to go to montgomery but we don't know to talk to she lives with her dad and does as well as any child who has had this done to them she is still afraid at night and if you will contact me i will tell you the whole story i know how bad this is because i only told my story and dealt with my fears after my grandaughter spoke up. please help us get this man where he belongs.

Posted by: linda key | Aug 7, 2005 10:02:16 PM

As a victim of sexual violence, I applaud their efforts. They deserve much worse than death or castration.

Posted by: Christopher Adams | Jan 25, 2006 9:47:13 PM

Amen, to Alabama, I am currently writing a paper for my english class and my paper is about this very thing. I feel that anyone that harms a child under the age of lets say 12, should be castrated, this would include the Andrea Yates' of Texas as well as a long list of mother's that are killing their children in the name of insanity or postpartum depression and mania; not just the sex offenders.
I just hope that all the other states follow suit and keep it going. Thanks!!!

Posted by: Sheila V | Sep 19, 2006 12:25:05 AM

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Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 9:14:00 PM

ANYONE WHO AGREES WITH THIS BILL IS CLINICALLY INSANE! The mere thought of castrating someone as punishment is not only unconstitutional, it is morally absurd. The goal of society is to continually PROGRESS, not move backwards. ABSURD!

Posted by: Christopher Wagner | Feb 11, 2009 4:30:16 PM

Is it true that this law was passed and is in force in alambama today?

Posted by: Jake Lamant | Mar 1, 2012 7:56:43 PM

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