Chemical Castration Essay

Chemical Castration for Repeat Sex Offenders Essay

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Chemical Castration for Repeat Sex Offenders

Child molestation and sexual assault is an ever growing problem in the United States today, but an even bigger problem is that these pedophiles are being released after only serving as little as one quarter of their sentence. In California alone (at the time the bill was first passed), there was an estimated 680 individuals on parole for molestation and other sexual assaults including sodomy by force with a victim under the age of thirteen as well as child molestation with foreign objects.

The practice of castrating violent criminals can be traced back to Germany in the 1930s, and throughout Europe. It has shown to be one of the most effective deterrents for sexual…show more content…

Chemical castration is a reversible treatment for those with urges to commit sex crimes, as well as those who have had a history of convicted sex crimes. This drug treatment helps to lower sex drives and decrease aggressive and violent tendencies. There are side effects to this drug just as there are for every other medicine on the market. Although it was not created for men, they suffer no extra side effects than the women. Chemical castration is an exceptional alternative to prison time or it works as a stepping block for integration back into society. It is a more cost effective alternative as well as being more efficient in correcting the problem as opposed to locking it up. With strict guidelines and continual use it can be the most effective course of action for sexual offenders today.

Monitored chemical castration should be the only alternative to full sentence prison time for repeat sex offenders, and child molesters, unless he voluntarily requests surgical castration. “Sometimes the gangrenous toe has to be sacrificed for the well being of the rest of the body” UNKOWN.

Chemical castration in short, is the suppression of sex drive through injections of anti-androgen drugs, one commonly known as Depo-Provera. Once every three months, the offender is injected intramuscularly with a concentrated version of Depo-Provera, which inhibits

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Abstract

This year marks the tenth anniversary of California's enactment of the nation's first chemical castration law. This law requires certain sex offenders to receive, as part of their punishment, long-term pharmacological treatment involving massive doses of a synthetic female hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). MPA treatment is described as chemical castration because it mimics the effect of surgical castration by eliminating almost all testosterone from the offender's system. The intended effect of MPA treatment is to alter brain and body function by reducing the brain's exposure to testosterone, thus depriving offenders of most (or all) capacity to experience sexual desire and to engage in sexual activity. The procedure also carries severe side effects. Despite numerous predictions that this law would be quickly struck down as cruel and unusual, it remains on the books, and six additional states have followed California's lead with chemical castration laws of their own. Moreover, we are currently facing a new wave of legislative efforts to impose chemical or surgical castration as a condition for sex offenders' release from prison.

The Supreme Court has identified the following questions as being key to a determination of whether a punishment is inherently cruel within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment: (1) Whether it violates the dignity of man, which is the basic concept underlying the Eighth Amendment; (2) Whether it violates evolving standards of decency; (3) Whether it involves the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain - that is, pain that completely fails to further either retributive, deterrent, incapacitative or rehabilitative goals; and (4) Whether it involves torture or barbarous methods of punishment, such as drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, or physical castration. This essay will argue that the most effective and appropriate way to determine the relationship between these interpretive principles is to refer them back to the text of the Eighth Amendment, and particularly to the word cruel. Cruel is generally taken to mean "indifference to or pleasure in another's distress." As this definition indicates, a cruel punishment is not necessarily the same thing as a punishment that fails to further a penological purpose; nor is it necessarily the same thing as a punishment that is not acceptable under current standards of decency. Rather, the word "cruel" implies a certain relationship between the punisher and the person punished: an attitude that the suffering of the offender is either unimportant, or is something to be positively enjoyed. In other words, a cruel punishment is one that treats the offender as though he or she were not a human person with a claim to our concern as fellow persons, but as a mere animal or thing lacking in basic human dignity. Because chemical castration is designed both to shackle the mind and painfully cripple the body of sex offenders, this essay will argue, it is doubly cruel, and should be struck down as a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Recommended Citation

John F. Stinneford, Incapacitation Through Maiming: Chemical Castration, the Eighth Amendment, and the Denial of Human Dignity, 3 U. St. Thomas L. J. 559 (2006), available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/215

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