Child molesters could face surgical castration in Louisiana

Lousiana apparently would be first US state with such punishment if its governor signs it into law

Web Desk
Lousiana approves surgical castration punishment for child sex offenders. — Reuters/File 

Louisiana legislators have approved a bill giving judges the option to sentence individuals convicted of certain sex crimes against children to surgical castration.

According to a report by The New York Times, Louisiana would be the first state to have such a punishment if the bill is signed into law by Governor Jeff Landry.

The approved bill allows for surgical castration as a potential punishment for aggravated sex crimes such as rape, incest, and molestation, against a child under 13.

While some states, including California, Florida, and Texas, have laws allowing for chemical castration, Louisiana's legislation stands out as it would permit judges to impose surgical castration.

Previously, judges in Louisiana could order convicted individuals to undergo chemical castration, a procedure that decreases sex drive by blocking testosterone production, but it was seldom utilised.

Surgical castration, on the other hand, is a more invasive procedure.

Currently, there are 2,224 people imprisoned in Louisiana for sex crimes against children younger than 13. If the bill becomes law, it can only be applied to those convicted for a crime that occurred on or after August 1 of this year.

The bill received overwhelming approval in both Republican-dominated chambers of the state legislature while votes against it mainly came from Democrats.

However, a Democratic lawmaker — state Senator Regina Barrow — authoured the legislation, hoping the legislation will serve as a deterrent for horrific crimes.

Barrow said that the punishment could potentially be applied to both men and women and that the decision would be made on a case-by-case basis by judges.

If an offender "fails to appear or refuses to undergo" surgical castration as ordered a judge, they could face additional three to five years in prison.

The proposal also requires a medical expert to determine of the offender is a suitable candidate for the procedure.