« "Association of Childhood Blood Lead Levels With Criminal Offending" | Main | "No Trump windfall for private prisons yet, but some bet on gains" »

December 27, 2017

Garden State perspective on sex offender castration ... for no obvious reason

This lengthy new local article from New Jersey, headlined "New Jersey child molesters won’t face castration threat any time soon," provides an example of how castration of sex offenders interests reporters even absent having an obvious reason to focus on the issue.  Here is how the article starts and some additional excerpts:

In a year filled with arrests for sexual crimes against child victims, there is a familiar refrain heard each time one of these arrests is announced.  “Castrate him,” is shouted from all corners of society and social media.

Almost 80 alleged child molesters or kiddie porn collectors were arrested this year by a regional task force.  None of those offenders, however, will ever have to face castration-style penalties if convicted in New Jersey Superior Court.  That’s because New Jersey, unlike a handful of states across America, lacks a law that would require certain sex offenders to be neutered or semi-neutered.

Removing a sex offender’s testicles or doping him up on testosterone-reducing drugs may sound harsh, but that is the law of the land in certain jurisdictions outside the Garden State. Several states across America have laws requiring certain child molesters to take so-called “chemical castration” hormonal drugs that curtail sexual desire by sharply reducing testosterone levels, but New Jersey state lawmakers have not seriously considered that idea since the turn of the century. Surgical castration — a medical procedure that physically removes a male’s testicles — is an option for certain Megan’s Law offenders in California who prefer to voluntarily undergo a permanent, surgical alternative to hormonal chemical treatment....

New Jersey politicians have concerns about the sexual exploitation of children — Republican Gov. Chris Christie on July 21 signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex) to strengthen New Jersey’s child pornography laws and establish additional penalties against leaders of child porn networks — but a politician has not introduced a castration bill in the state Legislature in over 20 years.

A state senator in 1996 wanted New Jersey to force male defendants convicted twice of aggravated sexual assault on a young child to receive chemical castration as punishment. Inspired by California’s example, former State Sen. Joseph L. Bubba (R-Passaic) introduced Senate Bill No. 1568 in the chamber on Oct. 3, 1996. He signed on as the primary sponsor of the bill that, if enacted, would have required chemical castration of certain sex offenders.  The bill was introduced in the New Jersey Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it died without being acted upon. 

Bubba’s political career then quickly unraveled when he lost a GOP primary in June 1997.  No other politician since Bubba has introduced a chemical castration bill in the New Jersey Legislature.

December 27, 2017 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

Comments

Cut the balls and weenie off and video the procedure. Show it on television news. Child abusers and rapists need to be fixed.

Posted by: Liberty2nd | Dec 27, 2017 10:34:31 PM

Two things:first, if sex offences are acts of power by agressors toward their victims, castration would only destroy the sexual urge but not the urge to dominate. Something else would have to be done to stop the desire to dominate others. Second, what about female offenders who molest children in the same way? How does one castrate a female offender?

Since Governor Christie is a disgusting sleaze himself and since the practice of castration is associated with unsavory groups like the Ku Klux Klan, castration is a barbaric act with no place in civilized society, although many Tea Party Republicans are not exactly civilized.

Lock up somebody who does that to children. We have more than enough prison space if we let out the non-violent drug offenders.

Posted by: william delzell | Dec 27, 2017 11:48:52 PM

The problem with the article is that it seems to pre-suppose that there's a high rate of re-offense uniformly amongst sex offenders, which is not at all supported by any kind of evidence. The article then takes the giant leap from that to assuming that chemical or physical castration is helpful in reducing those rates of re-offense.

It is odd indeed to have this random article pop out of nowhere discussing castration, but then, consider the source: It's the home to Megan Kanka and Rep Chris Smith. All sorts of wacky sex offender stuff pops out of NJ.

Posted by: Guy Hamilton-Smith | Dec 28, 2017 12:08:10 PM

Someone said that sex offenders do not repeat their offenses. But if we wack their balls and weenies off then it will deter others.

Posted by: Liberty2nd | Dec 28, 2017 5:41:20 PM

A castrated person is still capable of committing other violent offences: murder; kidnapping, etc. Rape is more a crime of violence and power than it is of pleasure or sex; it's simply a more intimate type of violent crime than of shooting or stabbing a victim; thus, making it a more terrifying form of violence against a victim/survivor.

Posted by: william r. delzell | Dec 29, 2017 12:44:54 AM

Someone said that sex offenders do not repeat their offenses. But if we wack their balls and weenies off then it will deter others.

Shame we have that pesky thing called the constitution, ain't it?

Posted by: Guy Hamilton-Smith | Dec 30, 2017 8:55:33 AM

Liberty2nd - typical liberal bullshit comments. You managed to lump all sex offenders into the one narrow bullshit category. Not all sex offenders are child raping pedophiles.
Many are people arrested for crimes such as indecent exposure.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse, you have my deepest sympathy. But the Constitution was meant to protect everyone - not just you.

Posted by: Ken C | Dec 30, 2017 8:10:35 PM

Ken C | Dec 30, 2017 8:10:35 PM: Umm, castration is not a liberal policy, it is a conservative policy. Liberals don't support it.

Anyway, people who support maiming other people surely have to support all maiming. They must believe that if a person points a gun at another person then when have to cut that person's hands off. I can't support maiming only for SEX offenses. But I don't think I want to be associated with a country that maims people. Pretty immoral.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Dec 31, 2017 11:49:50 AM

FRegistry. The Supreme Court has given criminals more rights than mental patients. There is no forced castration. All castrations have been requested by the prisoner.

Posted by: David Behar | Dec 31, 2017 12:46:03 PM

For some perspective. Males make testosterone in their testicles. They make 8 times more than females. Females make testosterone in their adrenal glands, perhaps at the level of an 8 year old boy. Testosterone drives sexual interest. So, when someone treated Germaine Greer's breast cancer with testosterone, she had strong urges to drive at 120 mph and to jump on women. She is a famous feminist.

Castration will bring sexual interest to the level of adult females. You would have to remove the person's two adrenals, as well to eliminate testosterone.

There are feminizing hormones that suppress sex urges. There are medications with low sex drive as a side effect. They may be used for that primary goal for what other patients call a bad side effect.

The benefit is to allow prisoners to slow down enough to think more. The sex offenders are encouraged to have normal girlfriends, perhaps ones that look like children but are responsible adults. They still have sex. They are less driven and less impulsive after such treatments.

Judges may not order surgery. They set conditions to comply with taking these medications in exchange for parole. Many prisoners voluntarily request these treatments for therapy, not punishment.

In Rochin (1952), officers could not have a doctor give a patient an emetic to test stomach content for swallowed illegal drugs. This was affirmed in 1985 when a bullet could not be forcibly extracted for evidence. Ironically, the Court ruled that forced blood drawing for alcohol level is not testimony, and it OK. Vomit, no. Blood, OK.

Posted by: David Behar | Dec 31, 2017 1:07:28 PM

Lib2. I have explained to the lawyer dumbasses here many times. General deterrence (the deterrence of others) violates the procedural due process of the defendant. One may not punish a guy to scare strangers he has never met, over which he has no control, and who may not have even considered committing a crime, yet.

If one commits a serious crime, there is 7% chance of ever being inconvenienced by the criminal justice system. General deterrence will come from increasing that risk. Only future technology will do that.

Posted by: David Behar | Dec 31, 2017 1:13:20 PM

Guy Hamilton-Smith: "The problem with the article is that it seems to pre-suppose that there's a high rate of re-offense uniformly amongst sex offenders, which is not at all supported by any kind of evidence."

The bigger problem in my opinion is they are not reveling who commits these crimes against children. The misnomer is "stranger danger, when in reality 68% are immediate family members. Only about 10% of offenders are not known by the child. So, while they incorrectly suggest that sex offenders recidivate in high numbers, they also fail to mention that the threat more often than not comes from within.

....

Posted by: Huh? | Jan 7, 2018 1:41:27 PM

@Liberty2nd

Pull your head out of your heinie. Sex lives in the brain, dummy. Not the dick and balls.

....

Posted by: Huh? | Jan 7, 2018 1:45:38 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB