“It’s barbaric,” said Brenda Jones, executive director of Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. “There’s no other word for it.”
She was speaking of the legislation proposed in Alabama by state representative Steve Hurst.
This is the fourth time that Hurst has proposed this bill. It is pre-filed for the 2014 legislative session and would require any sex offender over the age of 21 convicted of a sex act with a child under 12 to undergo surgical castration prior to being released from prison. The sex offender would be required to pay for the procedure.
“Not only is it barbaric,” continued Jones, “it is blatantly unconstitutional. It violates a person’s Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.”
RSOL denounces the legislation and Representative Hurst and demands that the bill be withdrawn. RSOL points to the record of sex offender laws that began as very narrow and focused and soon expanded to sweep in a larger and larger population of offenders.
The language of this bill is already too broad, RSOL contends. A sex act with a child could be indecent exposure while simply touching the child on the arm. It could be touching over clothing. It could be fondling a child.
These are all clearly criminal acts, and persons committing them should be charged and prosecuted as criminals. But such acts fall far, far from justifying forced castration. Even rape, as horrible as it is to imagine, does not justify deliberate, forced mutilation. Rapists should be prosecuted stringently, and laws are already in place to provide for that prosecution.
Reform Sex Offender Laws demands that Representative Steve Hurst withdraw his bill; our nation does not need legislation that legalizes savagery and mutilation upon another human being.