MONTGOMERY, Ala., March 7 (UPI) -- Proposed legislation in Alabama would require certain sex offenders be surgically castrated for their crimes, the bill's author said.
State Rep. Steve Hurst introduced the bill last week, which proposes that anyone over 21 years old convicted of a sex crime against someone age 12 or younger would be required to be surgically castrated before leaving prison. The offender would also be required to pay for that procedure.
"They have marked this child for life, and the punishment should fit the crime," Hurst said.
The Republican lawmaker has introduced a similar bill before and has heard the arguments against it.
"What's more inhuman, 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 inhuman, that's inhuman," he said.
However, Alabaman voters can't seem to agree on the issue.
"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," resident Keith Dison said.
State Rep. Napoleon Bracy, though, said such a requirement is likely unconstitutional.
"While everyone agrees that there should be punishment for such a hideous crime; the U.S. Constitution prohibits punishment that is cruel or inhumane," he said.
The legislation still must pass the judiciary committee before it can be considered by the Alabama House and Senate.
According to an OLR Research Report published in 2006, eight states allow chemical or surgical castration of sex offenders -- California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.