Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law legislation that would require certain child sex offenders to be chemically castrated before their parole.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s press office confirmed Monday that she had signed the bill, which will take effect later this year.
“This bill is a step toward protecting children in Alabama,” Gov. Ivey said.
The measure applies to child sex offenders convicted of certain crimes involving children younger than 13. The bill will apply to pedophiles who commit their crimes after September 1, 2019, according to CBS affiliate WIAT-TV.
Chemical castration involves administering medication — via tablets or injections — to take away sexual interest and make it impossible for a person to perform sexual acts. If the person stops taking the drug the effects can be reversed.
Under the measure, certain offenders must receive the medication before they are paroled from prison. A judge would decide when the medication can be stopped.
CBS report: Several states have authorized chemical castration, but it’s unclear how often it’s used. Some legal groups have raised concerns about use of forced medication.
Republican Rep. Steve Hurst had proposed the measure for more than a decade.
“I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, ‘Don’t you think this is inhumane?‘” Hurst told WIAT-TV.
“I asked them what’s more inhumane than when you take a little infant child, and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through. If you want to talk about inhumane, that’s inhumane.“
Meanwhile, Randall Marshall, the head of the ACLU of Alabama, said chemical castration could violate the U.S. Constitution.
“It could be cruel and unusual punishment. It also implicates right to privacy. Forced medications are all concerns,” Marshall told WSFA.
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