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Louisiana approves surgical castration, bill sees mixed reaction

Louisiana lawmakers have approved surgical castration as a punishment for some sex offenders accused of aggravated sex crimes against children under 13. The bill is getting mixed reactions.
State ca
Posted at 3:41 PM, Jun 14, 2024

LAFAYETTE PARISH — Louisiana lawmakers have approved a new bill that would require some sex offenders to be surgically castrated if convicted of sex crimes against children 13 and under. The bill will need to be signed by Governor Jeff Landry before it become law.

If approved, the law would apply to offenders who commit these crimes beginning August 1, 2024. The punishment would only apply in cases of aggravated sexual assault, which includes rape and incest. Democratic State Representative Delisha Boyd, a co-sponsor of the bill says the bill is necessary to protect children.

"This is not a vigilante deal. This will be something that is handed down by a judge. It will be a medical procedure that’s being done by a doctor capable of doing that, but the individual has the right to say they don’t want to have the procedure, said Boyd.”

Louisiana is among a small number of states which currently allow chemical castration but Boyd says it's only been used once or twice since chemical castration became legal.

Professor of Psychology at Elmhurst University, Dr. Katrina Sifferd argues that surgical castration is invasive and represents an outdated model for justice.

“We just don’t think the state should be in the business of causing of trying to cause physical pain and suffering in response to somebody committing a crime,” said Dr. Sifferd.

Sifferd who has provided research on criminal justice for the national institute of justice, says castration does not remove the urge to commit violence against children

“People are motivated to harm children in a sexual way for all sorts of reasons those reasons that don’t have anything to do with overwhelming sexual urges and those reasons will not be addressed with castration,” she said.

The law would also require female offenders to be surgically castrated by having their ovaries removed. It would exempt anyone under 17 years old. Offenders would have to undergo a medical evaluation prior to treatment.