Lawmakers debate castration as punishment for sex offenders

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP)_Some Alabama lawmakers say violent sex offenders who prey on children should be forced to undergo surgical castration to ensure that they do not hurt another child.

In a bid to strengthen a House bill toughening the state's laws against sex offenders, the House added an amendment last week by state Representative Steve Hurst of Munford.

That amendment would require those convicted of violent sex crimes against children under 12 to undergo the operation to remove their sex drive.

Hurst says someone 12 or under can't defend themselves.

He doesn't believe the sex offenders should ever be back in society. But if they are going to be back in society, he says, it should be in a reformed way where they can't become a repeat offender.

The amendment touched off heated debate in the special session of the Legislature.

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