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Sex offenders to be castrated under new law approved by US state

Alabama becomes the seventh US State to allow castration of some sex offenders

Tuesday 11 June 2019 21:50 BST
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Sex offenders to be castrated under new law approved by US state

A new law signed in Alabama requires sex offenders with victims younger than 13 to undergo chemical castration as a condition of parole.

"If they're going to mark these children for life, they need to be marked for life," Steve Hurst, who introduced the bill, told NBC affiliate WSFA of Montgomery.

Kay Ivey, the Republican governor of Alabama, signed the legislation on Tuesday and the bill will take effect later on this year.

The procedure, which is reversible, must start at least a month before the offender is released from jail, and lasts as long as the judge in charge deems necessary.

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The local branch of the American Civil Liberties Association (ACLU) says the law is "a return, if you will, to the dark ages."

Randall Marshall, the executive director of the local branch of the ACLU, told The Independent: "It certainly presents serious issues about involuntary medical treatment, informed consent, the right to privacy, and cruel and unusual punishment."

ACLU also believes the bill is unconstitutional, but said it likely won’t be challenged until it is actually implemented and ordered by a judge.

But Alabama is not the only state in the US to allow castration of sex offenders. California, Florida, Guam, Louisiana, Montana, and Wisconsin allow for some sort of castration. In most cases, according to NBC News, castration is voluntary and optional in order to speed up the parole process. California was the first state to allow chemical castration of sex offenders in the mid-1990s.

Some countries, like Israel, the UK, and Poland, have also used chemical castration in the past on sex offenders.

In May, Alabama passed one of the most restrictive abortion law in the United States.

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