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July 6, 2006

Considering castration for certain sex offenders

Earlier this week, the AP and the Washington Post both had stories about sex offenders (one in California and on in Virginia) who voluntarily underwent physical castration to reduce their sex drives and are now seeking release from prison.  Here are some details from the AP story:

A convicted child molester who got surgically castrated to curb his urges wants to be released from custody.  Kevin Reilly won a court order and paid to have his testicles removed in 2003.  "He felt that this was the only way to stop his cravings and immoral conduct," said his attorney, Orange County Deputy Public Defender Dinah Granafei.

Reilly says he has completed a sex-offender treatment program, undergone castration and is no longer a threat to children. He wants to be freed from Atascadero Mental Hospital, where he has been locked up since 2000 when the Orange County District Attorney's Office filed a petition labeling him a Sexually Violent Predator.

The Washington Post story, which centers on an inmate who castrated himself while in prison, provides broader background on the emerging role of castration in sex offender debates:

High-profile pedophilia cases ... [and] public outrage has caused lawmakers in Virginia and other states to try to make castration part of the solution for high-risk sex offenders.  Eight states allow the use of drugs to castrate sex offenders, including California, Florida and Texas, where surgical castration is also an option.  Castration, however, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.  In Florida, for instance, judges are required to order castration for certain repeat offenders.  Although many scientists and psychologists agree that castration can dramatically lower sexual drive, there is sharp disagreement about whether it is a cure-all....

Although such drugs as Depo-Provera and Depo-Lupron can help control some sexual disorders, they may not control, for example, a violent serial rapist who targets adult women out of anger and a need for control.  The drugs can also have serious side effects.  And there is concern that castrated sex offenders might replenish their testosterone by injecting hormones purchased illegally or over the Internet.

This year, state Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta) floated a bill in the legislature that would have allowed sex offenders to choose to be surgically castrated in exchange for their freedom at the end of their prison sentences.  Hanger withdrew the bill after questions arose about whether courts might deem castration cruel and unusual punishment.  But he said the fact that sex offenders would volunteer for the procedure should allay such concerns.  He hopes to introduce a revised version in the next session.

July 6, 2006 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I think that this castrating punishment is unfair and cruel to a certain extent. I am a student from elgin high school doing a report for one of my classes. But i do think that the punishment for repeating sex offenders should be more dramatic than this. I agree with most of this site and that is pretty much it.

Posted by: michael lippert | Apr 10, 2007 11:37:35 AM

i believe it's unfair with criminals to cut their sexual organ. They must punished but not like cruel evil sentence.

Soyeb Khan

Posted by: Soyeb | Sep 7, 2007 11:58:35 PM

i believe it's unfair with criminals to cut their sexual organ. They must punished but not like cruel evil sentence.

Soyeb Khan

Posted by: Soyeb | Sep 7, 2007 11:59:37 PM

This idea at least deserves further consideration. Violent sex offenders go free every day...even those who prey on children. I work in the medical field and work with many patients who are severely psychologically damaged from abuse they sustained as a child. We have to do something. Perhaps this is the best solution we have at this time. These men are agreeing to castration because they know they cannot and will not be able to control their urges. I think we all agree that the loss of two testicles is better than the loss of an innocent child, if a choice has to be made.

My demographic: healthy, heterosexual, female healthcare worker, 38 years old.

Posted by: | Nov 13, 2007 9:46:17 PM

I believe it is unfair to steal the innocence and adolescence of a child. I like the idea of castration, but not as an alternative to prison, but rather in addition to. This is not a sure thing, let these perverts sit in the general population of a prison and see how they like to be prayed upon

Posted by: | May 9, 2008 10:10:50 AM

My name is Janice Still and i would like to show you my personal experience with Depo-Provera.

I am 24 years old. I have been on Depo for 9 years and did not realize that the symptoms I experienced might be related to the shot. I am now facing thousands of dollars in dental work due to bone density loss, and will probably end up with osteoporosis. I am getting off Depo and will never touch it again!

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Low libido, joint pain, bone density loss, dental problems, headaches, fatigue, out of control eating, gained 40 lbs., depression

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Janice Still

Posted by: Depo-Provera Prescription Information | Oct 27, 2008 8:22:48 AM

I am a medical professional and I don't like the castrastion of sexual predators and letting them go. I feel the first offense should be 10 years in prison, psychological treatment and upon release a necklace should be placed on them and put them in some deep country mountain wilderness halfway house. Repeat offenders and paroled offenders that try to escape or does any sexual act the necklace should detonate and give a shock for a warning and if no positive response then the necklace should detonate and decapitate the offender. For those that are in for statutory rape their cases should be addressed individually, because some of these young girls make it hard for men to know their ages and they also lie about their age as well.

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