An Alabama state lawmaker has hatched a plan to permanently punish those who are convicted of heinous sex crimes against young children: surgical castration.
Alabama state Rep. Steve Hurst, who introduced his bill, HB 365, last week, proposed that all sexual offenders over 21 who commit a crime against a child 12 years old or younger should face surgical castration upon the end of their criminal sentence. He even suggests that the offender pay for their own procedure.
"They have marked this child for life, and the punishment should fit the crime," Hurst said of his proposal, according to WLS-TV, adding that if his proposed bill were to become law, he hopes it would deter criminals from committing sexual offenses against young children.
However, this isn't the first time Hurst has introduced his bill, which he said has been criticized in the past as being "inhumane."
"I had people call me in the past when I introduced it, and people have called me and said, 'Don't you think this is inhumane?'" he said. "I asked them, 'What's more inhumane, when you take a little infant child and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away and they have to go through all the things they have to go through?' If you want to talk about inhumane, that's inhumane."
Alabamians are fairly divided over the law. Some agreed that castration would be an appropriate punishment, while others labeled it a "crazy" proposal.
"Somebody that wants to mess with a little girl or little boy that age should be castrated, and they should not be able to mess with any other kids," said Keith Dison.
"I understand prison and going to prison for a long time for some kind of crime like that, but to physically mutilate someone, that's a little out there, it's crazy," added Jessica George.
According to WLS, the bill would first have to make its way through the House Judiciary Committee before being heard by Alabama's House and Senate.
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