ACLU: Mandating chemical castration could violate 8th amendment

Updated: Jun. 5, 2019 at 7:28 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama legislature passed the bill that would require anyone convicted of a sex crime with a child younger than 13 to undergo chemical castration as a condition of their parole.

“People say this is inhumane. ‘How can it be any more inhumane than molesting a small child?’ Now that’s one of the most inhumane things there are," said Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Calhoun County.

The Alabama Civil Liberties Union said mandating 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,” said Randall Marshall, the executive director with the ACLU of Alabama.

The bill said they would continue to take the medication unless the court said otherwise.

“They really misunderstand what sexual assault is about, sexual assault isn’t about sexual gratification. It’s about power, it’s about control," Marshall said.

Hurst said he hopes this stops people from having urges to molest children.

“These things are just horrifying. I’d prefer it be surgical, because the way I look at it, if they’re going to mark these children for life, they need to be marked for life," he said. "My preference would be, if someone does a small infant child like that, they need to die. God’s going to deal with them one day.”

The bill is on Governor Kay Ivey’s desk.

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