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For criminals who are convicted of sex crimes with minors under the age of 13, Alabama will now require chemical castration as a condition of parole.
The measure was signed into law by Alabama's Gov. Kay Ivey on Aug. 10, and had been introduced by Republican state representative Steve Hurst of Calhoun County. Hurst would prefer that those offenders who have been convicted of these crimes were permanently castrated through surgical means, according to NBC News.
Hurst said "My preference would be if someone does a small infant child like that, they need to die. God's going to deal with them one day."
Under the new law, the prospective parolee would be required to begin the drug treatment at least one month prior to the date of their release. The drugs would be administered for as long as a judge deems necessary before the parolee would be permitted to live a regular life.
This makes Alabama one of at least seven states that either require or allow chemical castration on a voluntary basis for sex offenders before they are released. Those others include Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, Montana, Louisiana, and California. Guam also has this measure as a voluntary procedure from sex offenders of this type who are after parole.
The ACLU has taken issue with the law, and the Alabama chapter has called it "unconstitutional." Randall Marshall, the executive director for Alabama's ACLU, has said that chemical castration for sex offenders who harm minors under 13 shows that legislators "really misunderstand what sexual assault is about. Sexual assault isn't about sexual gratification. It's about power. It's about control."
Representative Hurst disagrees. "If they're going to mark these children for life, they need to be marked for life," he said.