Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law legislation that would require certain sex offenders to be chemically castrated before their parole.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s press office said Monday that she had signed the bill, which is to take effect later this year. The measure applies to sex offenders convicted of certain crimes involving children younger than 13.
Chemical castration involves injection of medication that blocks testosterone production. Under the measure, certain offenders must receive the medication before they are paroled from prison. A judge would decide when the medication could be stopped.
Long before Alabama’s law, California passed a similar piece of legislation in the 1990s requiring repeat sex offenders to be chemically castrated. A handful of other states have also authorized chemical castration, though in most places it’s optional for offenders, usually allowing them to expedite their parole.
In regards to Alabama’s new law, some legal groups have raised concerns about the use of forced medication.
With files from the Associated Press.
Justin Levitt, professor of law at Loyola Law School and former deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department under President Obama; he tweets @_justinlevitt_
Elizabeth Deane, associate attorney with the Las Vegas office of the law firm of Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara, LLP; she has written about the constitutionality of the law for the Chapman Law Review in 2009; the piece is titled, “Chemical Castration for Child Predators: Practical, Effective, and Constitutional”