Ala. governor signs chemical castration bill into law

Authorities say an Alabama death row inmate was found dead in his cell from an apparent...
Authorities say an Alabama death row inmate was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2019 at 4:26 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law a bill that requires anyone convicted of a sex crime with a child younger than 13 to undergo chemical castration as a condition of their parole.

Under the new law, a person required to undergo the chemical castration must begin the treatment no less than one month prior to their release from custody, and must continue treatment until the court determine it’s no longer necessary.

Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Calhoun County, sponsored the legislation and said last week it would help stop people from molesting children.

“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," Hurst said.

The Alabama Civil Liberties Union, which came out against against the legislation, said mandating chemical castration could violate the U.S. Constitution’s 8th amendment, which forbids the use of cruel and unusual punishment.

The law requires the Alabama Department of Public Health to administer the treatment, which would reduce the production of testosterone or other hormones in the body.

“They really misunderstand what sexual assault is about, sexual assault isn’t about sexual gratification. It’s about power, it’s about control," said Randall Marshall, the executive director with the ACLU of Alabama.

Ivey had been mum on whether she would support the legislation until ultimately giving it her approval on Monday, the final day for which she could sign bills into law following the legislative session.

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