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Monday, July 25, 2005

Democrats for Castration?

Thanks to Doug, over at SLP, I've come across the following article whose beginning captures the penalty envisioned for sex offenders in Alabama:

The House passed a bill Thursday that would require mandatory castration of persons convicted of violent sex crimes against children under 12 and would require them to wear electronic monitoring devices for the rest of their lives after release from prison.

Former Democratic Governor and now gubernatorial candidate, Don Siegelman, has been pushing the right buttons for deliberative democracy:

Siegelman stated that laws regarding Child Sexual Predators must be stiffened in order to provide better protection for Alabama’s children. “Requiring a current address and an ankle bracelet are simply not enough.” Siegelman said. “While attorney general, I pushed for tougher guidelines in dealing with sexual predators, and as governor I urged passage of this same legislation, calling for action on this issue in both my 2000 and 2001 State of the State addresses.” Siegelman continued: “The law dealing with child sexual predators needs to be altered to require, as a consideration of parole, either voluntary surgical castration or mandatory chemical castration after the first class A felony conviction for a violent sexual assault, rape or sodomy, by an adult over the age of 21 against a child 12 years of age or younger, and provide juries with a death penalty option for any repeat offender who causes serious injury or death.”   In regard to private property rights, Siegelman outlined the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Kelo v. New London, Ct. case, that allows private property to be forcibly taken by local governments and used for private development purposes. "The definition of 'public use' must be changed, in order to thwart the egregious U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding eminent domain," he said. “These are not Democrat or Republican issues," Siegelman said. "They are Alabama issues and Alabamians are making it abundantly clear that they want their children and their property protected.”

In another article, Siegelman said, "If it was up to me, I'd give them the death penalty on the first offense." ... "The attorney general has the Legislature in this special session. This is the perfect vehicle to do this thing right. They need to quit being so namby-pamby and squeamish about castration and put that back in the bill."

Doug has some very insightful posts on these matters here and here.

Posted by Dan Markel on July 25, 2005 at 08:29 AM in Criminal Law | Permalink

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Tracked on Jul 25, 2005 11:27:35 PM

Comments

We were all trying to figure out what the magic issue is that will enable Dems to beat Reps. I think we've found it. Castration.

Posted by: Jeff V. | Jul 25, 2005 9:08:23 AM

Yea. The slogan of the Clinton-era "new democrats" was "it's the economy, stupid." The slogan of the next wave of "new democrats" will be "Democrats: We can be Bloodthirsty Too"

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Jul 25, 2005 10:45:55 AM

Although nowhere near approximating castration, there have been some interesting recent attempts to zone out sex offenders in various locations, including Binghamton, NY and Tampa, Florida (where sex offenders are now prohibited from going to emergency shelters during hurricanes!).

Posted by: Bernie | Jul 25, 2005 11:10:57 AM

I think we're on to something. In fact, why limit castration to sex offenders? Terrorists and (George W.'s favorite) evildoers should definitely be included.

Posted by: Jeff V. | Jul 25, 2005 12:37:56 PM

I was waiting for Siegelman to argue that the prevention of future sexual offenses was a permissible public purpose sufficient to justify mandatory castration (forcible removal of private property) on the basis of Kelo.

Posted by: s | Jul 25, 2005 12:41:51 PM

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