Home Headlines Louisiana is the first US state to establish surgical castration for pedophiles

Louisiana is the first US state to establish surgical castration for pedophiles

by sanmigueltimes
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Louisiana, a state in the United States, is on the verge of enacting a controversial new law that would allow judges to order surgical castration for individuals convicted of sex crimes against young children.

On Monday (June 3), Louisiana’s GOP-controlled Legislature passed a bill that empowers judges to sentence paedophiles preying on children under 13 to surgical castration. 

The bill now awaits the signature of Republican Governor Jeff Landry. If signed, Louisiana would be the first state to implement such a severe punishment.

Castration in the US

In America, while states like Alabama, California, Florida, and Texas permit chemical castration, none currently mandate surgical castration as a judicial sentence, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Louisiana also has provisions for chemical castration that have been in place for over 16 years, but have rarely been used.

Chemical vs Surgical castration

Chemical castration involves medications that lower testosterone levels to diminish sexual urges, whereas surgical castration is a much more invasive procedure. 

“This is a consequence,” stated Republican state Sen. Valarie Hodges during an April committee hearing. “It’s a step over and beyond just going to jail and getting out.” 

Although the punishment is severe, the bill saw strong support in both GOP-dominated chambers. It did have some opposition coming from Democrats.

Notably, the bill was authored by a Democrat — State Sen. Regina Barrow, who views it as an extra step in punishing horrific crimes against children.

“We are talking about babies who are being violated by somebody,” said Barrow during an April committee meeting, adding, “That is inexcusable.”

Currently, over 2,200 individuals are imprisoned in Louisiana for sex crimes against children under 13. Nevertheless, if this bill becomes law, it would only apply to offences committed on or after August 1, 2024. 

The punishment would be at the discretion of judges and not automatically imposed. While castration is typically associated with men, it could also apply to women, said Barrow.

Failure to comply with an order for surgical castration could result in an additional three to five years of imprisonment. A medical expert must “determine whether that offender is an appropriate candidate” for the procedure before it is carried out.

San Miguel Times

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