Alabama has become the seventh state to pass a law that imposes “chemical castration” as a condition of parole for certain sex offenses. NBC News reports that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the measure into law on Monday; the law applies to “anyone convicted of sex crimes with children younger than 13.”
“Chemical castration” is defined in the law as “receiving of medication, including, but not limited to, medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment or its chemical equivalent, that, among other things, reduces, inhibits, or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person’s body.” According to the new law, people convicted of sex offenses against children would be forced to receive it as a condition of their parole and continue to do so at a judge’s discretion.
Republican Representative Steve Hurst, who has proposed variations of the measure since 2006 said he believes this is appropriate punishment. “If they’re going to mark these children for life, they need to be marked for life,” Hurst told local news affiliate WSFA.
Setting aside the terrible nature of the crime, the punishment could constitute “cruel and unusual punishment,” according to Randall Marshall, the head of the ACLU of Alabama. Marshall says the law “implicates right to privacy.”
“When the state starts experimenting on people, I think it runs afoul of the Constitution,” he told AL.com