State Lawmakers Approve Surgical Castration for Convicts

( – Louisiana state lawmakers have approved a bill authorizing surgical castration for convicted child abusers. Both chambers of the Republican-controlled Pelican State legislature passed the measure, which will allow the castration of those convicted of molesting or raping a child under 13. If Republican Governor Jeff Landry signs the legislation, it will make Louisiana the first state to impose such a punishment on child predators.

Some states, including California, Florida, and Texas, permit chemical castration for convicted sexual offenders, and some convicts can opt for surgical castration, but the Louisiana law represents the first occasion on which a judge can pass a sentence of surgical castration.

The chemical method involves drug ingestion that blocks testosterone production and thereby reduces sexual desire. In a surgical castration, however, the testes are physically removed from the body.

During the legislative debate, Republican state Senator Valarie Hodges stated that the law means offenders will face fitting consequences for their actions. “It’s a step over and beyond just going to jail and getting out,” she said.

While most of the votes against the legislation came from Democrats, the measure was introduced by Democrat Senator Regina Barrow, who called for greater punishment for heinous crimes. Barrow described the sexual abuse of children as “inexcusable.”

The Pelican State will not only be the sole American state to impose surgical castration as punishment but one of a small number of places worldwide. In February, Madagascar prompted criticisms from human rights groups when it took similar steps and allowed the forced removal of testes from men convicted of sexual offenses against children.

Justice Minister Landy Mbolatiana Randriamanantenasoa said the move was necessary to combat increased crimes against children.

While most European countries have moved away from surgical castration – Germany abandoned the practice in 2017 – but Czechia (previously the Czech Republic) insisted it would not follow suit. The Eastern European nation has the highest number of castrated offenders in the world and has faced criticism from the European Union and human rights organizations.

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