Montgomery, Ala. (CBS ATLANTA) – An Alabama legislator has re-introduced a bill to legalize castration of convicted child molesters if their victims were under the age of 12 – and make them pay for the procedure.
The Florence Times Daily reports that Rep. Steve Hurst (R-Munford) is proposing the bill for the 2014 legislative session, which begins in January. Hurst attempted to push this bill during the 2013 session, but it did not make it out of committee.
Under Rep. Hurst’s proposed legislation, convicted sex offenders over the age of 21 would be castrated prior to their release from prison if their victims were under the age of 12 years old. The castration would also be financed by the sex offender, and not by the correctional system, reports WFSB.
A CNN report from 2012 notes that at least nine states: including California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin already have versions of “chemical castration” in their laws. Such a process involves the administering of chemicals to take away sexual interest and make it impossible for the person to perform sexual acts.
The Alabama legislation does not detail the castration process to be used in the proposed bill.
The use of chemical castration remains controversial, with the practice being called “inhuman treatment” by Amnesty International.
“At first sight, forced chemical castration could be taken as a matter-of-course decision; however, it is incompatible with human rights, which are the foundation of any civilized democratic society,” Amnesty International wrote in its March statement.
According to his legislature website, Rep. Hurst was elected to office in 1998 and is a graduate of Talladega High School with a wife and three children. He is a former Talladega County Commissioner.