GOP Governor Authorizes Controversial Castration Bill

( – Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry (R) has taken radical action against child molesters. He’s just signed a new law that lets judges sentence some sex offenders to castration. The bill had bipartisan support in the state legislature.

Since 2008, Louisiana sex offenders have faced the possibility a judge will sentence them to chemical castration with medroxyprogesterone acetate(MPA). If it’s their second sex offense the judge will sentence them to chemical castration, and offenders can also agree to physical castration as an alternative. This is already tough sentencing; now it’s just gotten a lot tougher.

On March 11, Louisiana State Senator Regina Burrows (D) introduced Senate Bill 371 to the state senate. After passing through the legislative process, Governor Landry signed it on June 18. SB 371 expands the use of surgical castration, giving judges the power to order it for offenders aged 17 or older who target victims under 13. If a judge orders an offender to be castrated, a medical expert appointed by the court will have 60 days to rule on whether or not the convict is an “appropriate candidate” for the surgery.

The new law allows castration for offenders whether they’re sentenced to prison or not. If they’re jailed, they must be castrated not later than a week before they’re released. Otherwise, the court can order them to appear for the surgery. If they don’t show up they could be sentenced to between three and five years’ imprisonment without possibility of parole or probation.

Although introduced by a Democrat, the bill got widespread support in the Louisiana legislature. State Senator Valarie Hodge (R) praised the idea, calling it a “consequence” of sexually abusing children. It wasn’t totally unopposed, though, and the opposition came from Democrats. Other liberals have complained that it’s “cruel and unusual” — but state senators hope it will be a valuable new deterrent to potential child abusers.

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