Friday, July 4, 2008

Chemical Castration In, Death Penalty for Child Rapists Out

image 

It is really obvious why this guy might become the next Vice-President of the United States (not that the country's mood in his party's favor but you get the point). Governor Bobby Jindal just signed Senate Bill 144 into Law.  What is Senate Bill 144?

Well, in a nutshell, this bill states that a criminal court can use chemical castration as a punishment for individuals convicted of forcible rape, second-degree sexual battery, aggravated incest, aggravated rape, molestation of a child under the age of 13 and aggravated crimes against nature. What are aggravated crimes against nature?

What is chemical castration?

image

Wikipedia: "Chemical castration is a form of castration caused by hormonal medication. It is used in the main by countries as a preventive measure or punishment on people who violate their laws on sexual behavior, for example those who have committed rape or child sexual abuse or who are homosexual (as in the case of mathematician Alan Turing). It has also been used by eugenicists as a means of preventing people the government deems inferior from breeding, and was practiced in many states during the twentieth century, most notoriously in Germany under the Nazi regime. Depo-Provera, a progestin, is a drug that is sometimes used on sex offenders."

Up until now I never knew what it was. I heard about it in passing but never as a legitimate practice. Furthermore I didn't even know that this was allowed in the U.S. Apparently, at least six states have experimented it, including Louisiana (as we know), Montana, Texas, Georgia, Florida (not surprised about those 4) and California (how is this possible with San Francisco and LA?). California was the first state to use chemical castration.

This seems like a backward practice to me. It's with the times in the sense we use chemicals instead of weapons but still. Especially, after the recent Supreme Court ruling that banned the death penalty for the rape of a child , I would think that maybe we'd find new ways of approaching issues like this. Jindal slammed the Supreme Court's ruling along with, Senator Vitter (yes that Vitter) McCain and Obama (somewhere were Repubs and Dem's agree, or at least this Dem agrees).

One of the odd outcomes is that this law would threaten many of Jindal's GOP Colleagues if they ever decided to do what they do best in the glorious state of Louisiana.

This includes:

  • Former president of the National Association of Evangelicals Rev. Ted Haggard
  • Former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL)
  • Former Rep. Bob Allen (R-FL)
  • Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
  • Senator David Vitter- (R-LA)
  • Former Rep. Richard Curtis (R-WA)
  • Former GOP party chair Glenn Murphy Jr
  • Also, Strom Thurmond's ghost (R-SC) w
  • Thanks to 23/6 for this.

    Maybe chemical castration is the best way (right now at least) to handle people who violate the long standing legal norms of society as related to rape and child rape in particular. In the absence of the death penalty, and with the agreement in mind that a person who commits these crimes is beyond rehabilitation,  we have to find a way to punish these crimes.

    image To a certain extent I agree with the supreme court ruling that identifies proportionality of the crime (on a basic level rape is not the same as murder...). But at the same time when one remotely ponders how they would feel if this happened to a close family member and the feeling definitely changes or at least that is how I feel. Then maybe the death penalty is the appropriate response.

     

    Can the government force someone to take put drugs into their body? Its a strange concept considering how we are prevented from taking certain drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin) and for good reason (our health) but does it change when we commit crimes. Depo-Provera  can cause weight gain, thromboembolism, malaise, hypertension, mild depression, hypoglycemia and rare changes in liver enzymes. I think what I am coming to terms or understanding in deeper terms is that when you commit a crime and you're convicted, the government can do anything (or a lot) because you violated our laws and norms.

    I guess we have to watch our different interest groups respond to this new chemical castration law in Louisiana. I doubt it will make much of sound on a national level beyond the initial notice of the fact that it was passed. Bobby Jindal is proving to be a very good conservative governor and doing these like these may just help his case. By the way Bobby Jindal also just signed a bill mandating health insurance coverage for children to autism and another bill establish a $10 million scholarship benefiting low-income families.  You know he's making conservatives smile around the country.

    image

    No comments: