Republican State Rep. Steve Hurst of Calhoun County, Alabama, introduced legislation that would require certain sex offenders to be castrated.
The cost of the castration would be the offender’s responsibility and occur before release from prison. The law would apply to those who sexually assaulted children.
“[H.B. 365] would provide that any person over the age of 21 years who is convicted of certain sex offenses against a child 12 years of age or younger would be surgically castrated before his or her release from the custody of the Department of Corrections. This bill would require that the cost of the procedure be paid by the adult criminal sex offender,” the bill states.
“They have marked this child for life and the punishment should fit the crime,” Hurst said, according to WAVY.
This is the second time Hurst has introduced the bill.
“I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said don’t you think this is inhumane?” Hurst said. “I asked them what’s more inhumane than when you take a little infant child, and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through. If you want to talk about inhumane -- that’s inhumane.”
Hurst hopes the bill would reduce the number of sexual offenses committed against children in the state.
“If we do something of this nature it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers,” Hurst said.
The bill has received a mixed response from residents.
“I understand prison and going to prison for a long time for some kind of crime like that, but to physical mutilate someone … that’s a little out there … it’s crazy,” Alabama resident Jessica George told WAVY.
“Somebody that wants to mess with a little girl or little boy that age should be castrated, and they should not be able to mess with any other kids,” Keith Dison, another resident of Alabama, said.
The bill will go to the judiciary committee and if passed, it will be heard by the Alabama House and Senate.