Louisiana Set to Pass Bill Giving Judges Option to Order Surgical Castration for Sex Offenders

Louisiana could be the first state to give judges the option to order surgical castration as part of the sentencing for serious sex offenders. The state legislature passed a bill that is awaiting Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry’s signature. The punishment would be optional for judges to apply to either men or women if they have been convicted of an aggravated sex crime against a child under 13. 

While chemical castration has been on the table before, it has rarely ever been used as part of sentencing. Surgical castration is much more invasive, and of course permanent. 

This decision sparks a debate on whether or not the government should have this level of power over a person’s body, even a convicted sex offender. What rights do convicted criminals have? Should someone who has egregiously violated the rights of another, such as through rape, incest, or molestation of a child, still have rights of their own respected?

It’s a slippery slope when dealing with criminal offenses. In reality, all punishment restricts the rights of those convicted to some degree. That is essentially the basis of our prison system– A person’s rights to live and act in society as normal are taken away because of the harm they have caused others. The question is just like in the topic of the death penalty, when does it go too far?

The bill, and chemical castration bills, have received pushback, with opponents saying it is “cruel and unusual punishment” and questioned the effectiveness of the procedure. Additionally some Louisiana lawmakers have questioned if the punishment was too harsh for someone who may have a single offense.

When deciding punishment, there are two things that should be considered: The appropriate response to the crime and how to prevent the crime from being repeated again either by the same offender or others. Appropriate disciplinary response sets the standard in the community for what can be allowed and sends a clear message to any considering the offense. It also brings some level of justice to the victim and their families. 

There is a third important consideration. If the offender will be released back into society at some point, how can we be assured they will not repeat the offense? Perhaps with something as horrendous as the sexual abuse of a child, chances can’t be taken.

“For me, when I think about a child, one time is too many,” Barrow responded.

With 2,224 people currently serving time in Lousiana for sexual crimes committed against children under the age of 13, this bill could potentially be what is needed to protect many future children. 

We have seen the lawlessness that has resulted from lack of strong disciplinary response in our nation. We can’t even find a way to put a stop to bratty college students destroying property and calling openly for violence. This is what the Left’s “soft-parenting” approach has gotten us. 

Perhaps it’s time to try a firmer hand with offenders. If we truly wish to protect those most vulnerable in our nation and the values that make us the great country that we are, we will have to stop sympathizing more with the offenders than we do with the victims. This bill may be too far, but it might be better to be too far on the side of justice than on the side of lawlessness. 



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