Alabama OKs Chemical Castration for Some Sex Offenders

Paedophiles will now be chemically castrated by law in Alabama

Monday afternoon Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill to require sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to undergo "chemical castration treatment" as a condition of parole.

Adults convicted of a sex offense against a child under the age of 13 in Alabama will undergo chemical castration a month before being released from custody.

The language states that "a parolee released on parole under this act shall authorize the Department of Public Health to share with the Board of Pardons and Paroles all medical records relating to the parolee's chemical castration treatment". The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless it's determined he can not.

The treatment consists of taking a medication to suppress or block the production of testosterone.

"This bill is a step toward protecting children in Alabama", Ivey said in a statement to CNN.

Both houses of the Alabama Legislature approved the legislation late last month after it was put forward by state GOP Rep. Steve Hurst. However, if the parolee stops taking the medication before allowed to do so by the court, they will be in violation and could be sentenced to prison. A judge, not a doctor, would decide when the procedure could be stopped; or, the convict can decide to stop the procedure and serve out the rest of his term in prison.

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MI used to have a law mandating chemical castration as a parole condition, but an appeals court in 1984 ruled it unlawful.

The use of chemical castration is internationally controversial, and critics say forced chemical castration violates human rights.

"It certainly presents serious issues about involuntary medical treatment, informed consent, the right to privacy and cruel and unusual punishment".

Randall Marshall, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Alabama deemed the measure "unconstitutional", stating: "It could be cruel and unusual punishment".

"It's not clear that this actually has any effect and whether it's even medically proven", Marshall said.

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