Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Louisiana senate panel approves bill allowing castration for sex offenders

by Ed Anderson, The Times Picayune

Tuesday April 08, 2008, 1:04 PM

BATON ROUGE -- A Senate committee today took the first step toward giving judges the authority to order sex offenders to undergo physical or chemical castration.

The Judiciary C Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 144 by Sen. Nick Gautreaux, D-Abbeville, to give a judge the option to order medroxyprogestrone acetate, or MPA, to be administered to a first time sex offender. On a repeat violation, the judge must order the treatment for a specific time if a medical expert agrees the treatment can help the offender.
The offender can opt for physical castration on a first or second offense if he agrees to the surgery and a judge concurs.

Gautreaux said the state does not currently allow either type of castration. He said one or both forms of the procedure can help sex offenders lower their sex drive and possibly keep them from committing future sex crimes.

Gautreaux said either type of castration would be in addition to the jail time a judge orders the offender to serve. The castration cannot reduce the sentence or replace it, Gautreaux said.

"This does not make it easy on the sex offender," Gautreaux said.

The committee also approved Gautreaux's Senate Bill 143 to prohibit anyone convicted of a sex offense from wearing a mask, hood or costume to hand out candy or gifts on Halloween to children under 18. The bill was amended to prohibit the distribution of gifts by a sex offender who may or may not wear a costume at other times of the year, such as Easter and Christmas.

A violator could get at least six months and up to three years in jail with the first six months to be served behind bars.

Both bills must now be debated by the Senate.

Ed Anderson can be reached at eanderson@timespicayune.com or (225) 342-5810.



Larry Jones said...

This is an excellent idea! Better than cutting off the hands of thieves. In fact, let's pass a law to do that, too! It's time to get tough on crime. Let the state of Louisiana set an example for the rest of the world.

splendidgibberish said...

Hear ! Hear! Finally a smart solution from a state that never gets the respect it deserves!

Alyson said...

That's pretty awesome! I remember hearing talk of this years ago and it's great to know this may actually come into practice, at least in one state.

jen said...

While this is a valiant effort by the fine Louisiana legislators, not all sex offenders perpetrate their crimes with their genitalia. (Sorry to be so frank.) It's a power and control thing for some of them, and I just am not sure that chemical or physical castration could "cure" the problems in all of them. It would be great if there was some kind of treatment that could stop it. This is a sad, crazy world in which we live.

Laurie said...

Larry - It will be interesting to see if the senate actually passes it.

Splendidgibberish - Louisiana does have a bad rep, politically speaking.

Alyson - We shall see. I would definitely vote for any senator that votes for the bill.

Jen - I would think the castration, in most cases, would diminish the violent urges in some of the offenders. It's worth a shot.

Grimm said...

About freaking time. I always thought that castration for a sex crime was the way to go.

Now hopefully, it will spread to the other states.

Susan in St. Paul said...

I agree with Jen.
Most sex offenses have to do with power and physical domination and not raging hormones.
I would think guys with power issues would have them turned up another notch by castration.
Also chemical castration is often reversible once the drug is stopped.

I don't get the not gift law. An 18 yr guy gets caught having sex with his 16 yr girlfriend, becomes a registered sex offender and can never give out gifts again?

Laurie said...

Grimm - Time will tell.

Susan - The gift thing is probably more of a catch-all for when they suspect other abuses being committed by someone which they can't prove. At least they could hold him for a while for giving gifts to children until they could get more evidence.