Sex Crime Punishment: Chemical Castration

The injection of anti-androgen drugs, suppress the sex drive in men. A commonly used drug is Depro-Povera or scientific name medroxyprogesterone acetate (The drug has treated patients with irregular uterine bleeding, birth-control drug ordinarily used on women, and abnormal absence of menstruation. Also, the drug is prescribed to preoperative transsexuals as part of the sex-change process.) When administered the drug reduces blood serum testosterone levels, in males, as result sexual drive and aggression becomes reduced. Also, the drug reduces the sexual drive by influencing the hypothalamus, which stimulates the pituitary to release the hormones that control the production of sperm, suppresses erection, ejaculation, and inhibits the frequency of erotic thoughts. Similar type of drug, which is administered by injection monthly is Depo-Lupron, and less expensive than Depo-Provera. (The drug has treated women for endometriosis, and treating advanced prostate cancer, and other treatments) These drugs have no irreversible affects.

Combating child molestation, pedophiles or sex crimes, many state legislatures, and countries around the world, have adopted or passed new laws requiring or providing, the option for sex offenders chemical castration. In 1996 California passed a law that mandated chemical castration for repeat child molesters. A similar law was adopted in the state of Florida in 1997, and with the option of defendants choosing physical castration. Atlanta Georgia became the third state in the nation, enacting a chemical castration law, which requires child molesters to get hormone shots to lower their sex drives, after they are released from prison. France launched in 2004, a new chemical treatment to inhibit sex drives, for rapists and pedophiles, with the hope to reduce prison population. Allowing those treated to be released from prison. Besides chemical castration, many experts recommend sexual offenders undergo comprehensive treatment, which includes cognitive behavioral therapy. A Jerusalem court in Israel, recommended chemical castration on a man convicted of sexual offense, the first time such a recommendation had been handed down, February 2004. In Baton Rouge Louisiana March 2006, lawmakers or legislatures are deciding upon a new law, by March 27, 2006, which requires repeat sexual offenders to have chemical or surgical castration (by consent only). Those offenders that fail to appear or refuse the treatment can be sentenced at least three years, and up to five years in jail. In Norway, four convicted rapists and pedophiles agreed to government sanction chemical castration, March 2006.

In the 1990s, a Berlin Studied 629 men receiving testosterone drugs, for chemical castration. As a result, found only eight percent of those men, re-offended after five years. Dr. Fred Berlin, founder of the Biosexual Psychological Clinic at the John Hopkins Hospital, believes that treating offenders with medroxyprogesterone acetate (drug for chemical castration) will drastically reduce the rate of reversion to criminal behavior, of some sex offenders, after they are released from prison.

The use of anti-androgen drugs does have some health risks or side effects. Especially, for offenders that have existing diabetes, obesity, and pulmonary disease. Side effects may include breast enlargement, tumors and edma. Proponents of chemical castration understand that offenders that are offered this treatment provide a consensual agreement, for this type of procedure. Also, parolees receiving Depro-Povera are capable of having normal sexual relations and fathering children. However, discontinuing any chemical castration treatment would be a violation of probation and possible, an additional second – degree charge. Some advocates against chemical castration, including civil rights organizations and civil libertarians, believe the treatment is cruel and unusual punishment, and violates the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, in that regard. Also, unknown if there are any long – term physical and psychological affects, after the administration of the drug. According to Florida 1997 Chemical Castration Law, a judge in a court of law, may consider the defendant’s reasons for withdrawing from chemical castration treatment, and along with other possible mitigation information, that can be proven valid, before deciding to forgo a longer sentence of incarceration, than the sentence announced at the original sentencing hearing.

Unfortunately, chemical castration laws is not always enforced by Judges, for whatever reasoning or based upon their discretion. Possible causes for a non-enforcement: Locating doctors that will administer the treatment, convicted criminals that have long term sentences or life term sentences, would not be suited for chemical castration, since they would be in prison or incarcerated and not living among civilians. Also, many convicted rapists are acting out of violence, and not sexual urges, so the drug would not be effective. In the state of Florida, the Chemical Castration Law (1997)(Over 70,000 signatures on a petition, helped to get this law enacted by the legislatures in Tallahassee Florida) requires men convicted of a second sexual battery, must be ordered to take a drug. Since May 2005, more than 100 men convicted of a second sexual battery in Florida, only three of them were sentenced to chemical castration, according to state officials or during the previous eight years. One of the most horrendous sex crimes reported, happened in the state of Florida in 2005, when a man was charged with a sex and murder crime, against a nine year old Jessica Lunsford. Her abductor was previously convicted of sex crimes, but did not receive any previous chemical castration treatment.

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