Alabama Guv Signs Law Requiring Chemical Castration For Some Sex Offenders

Maricruz Casares
Junio 12, 2019

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a controversial bill that requires chemical castration for convicted child sex offenders before they are released from prison. It requires convicted sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to undergo the procedure as a condition of their parole.

Governor Ivey's press office said she had signed the bill, which would take effect later this year.

The treatment consists of taking a medication to suppress or block the production of testosterone.

The language states that "a parolee released on parole under this act shall authorize the Department of Public Health to share with the Board of Pardons and Paroles all medical records relating to the parolee's chemical castration treatment". It says offenders must pay for the treatment, and they can't be denied parole exclusively based on an inability to pay.

It would continue until a court decides a parolee can stop undergoing the procedure.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, and passed on May 30, just before the end of the legislative session.

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Under the measure, certain offenders must receive the medication before they are paroled from prison. Although offenders must pay for their own chemical castration, but they can not be denied parole for their inability to afford the procedure.

Alabama is not the only state to require chemical castration for sex offenders.

The Alabama Civil Liberties Union, which came out against against the legislation, said mandating chemical castration could violate the U.S. Constitution's 8th amendment, which forbids the use of cruel and unusual punishment.

Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, disagrees.

"This kind of punishment for crimes is something that has been around throughout history, but as we've gotten more enlightened in criminal justice we've gotten away from this kind of retribution", Marshall said, adding that there likely won't be a legal challenge to the law until it is "actually implemented and ordered by a judge".

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