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Lorena Bobbitt Would Be Proud: Surgical Castration Ok'd by Louisiana Lawmakers — as Punishment for Child Sex Offenders

surgical castration louisiana lawmakers punishment child sex offenders
Source: MEGA

Louisiana made headlines this week when it approved legislation that could lead to the implementation of surgical castration as a punishment.

Jun. 4 2024, Published 5:00 p.m. ET

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Somebody call Lorena Bobbitt! Louisiana made headlines this week when it approved legislation that could lead to the implementation of surgical castration as a punishment for individuals convicted of sex crimes against young children, RadarOnline.com can report.

The move, which has not yet been signed into law by Governor Jeff Landry, would make Louisiana the first state to impose such a penalty.

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surgical castration louisiana lawmakers punishment child sex offenders
Source: Office of Governor Jeff Landry

The move, which has not yet been signed into law by Governor Jeff Landry, would make Louisiana the first state to impose such a penalty.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill – which would allow judges the option to sentence convicted individuals to surgical castration for certain aggravated sex crimes – on Monday.

Louisiana has had the provision for judges to order chemical castration for certain sex offenders for over 16 years, according to CBS News. However, the newly approved bill would take it a step further by introducing the possibility of surgical castration.

While chemical castration involves the use of medications to reduce testosterone production and decrease the individual's sex drive, surgical castration was described as a more invasive procedure.

State Senator Regina Barrow, a Democrat who authored the bill, viewed the newly passed piece of the legislature as an additional punitive measure for heinous crimes and hoped that it would serve as a deterrent.

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surgical castration louisiana lawmakers punishment child sex offenders
Source: Southern University Law Center

State Senator Regina Barrow, a Democrat who authored the bill, viewed the newly passed piece of the legislature as an additional punitive measure.

Senator Barrow also emphasized that the application of this punishment would be on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of judges. She clarified that it would not be an automatic penalty and that it could also be applicable to women.

“We are talking about babies who are being violated by somebody,” Senator Barrow said during a committee meeting on the matter in April. “That is inexcusable.”

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

The newly passed legislation specified that individuals who failed to comply with a judge's order for surgical castration could face additional criminal charges and imprisonment. It also mandated a thorough medical evaluation of the offender to determine their suitability for the procedure.

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surgical castration louisiana lawmakers punishment child sex offenders
Source: MEGA

The legislation could only be retroactively applied to crimes committed on or after August 1 of this year.

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As per the newly passed bill, the legislation could only be retroactively applied to crimes committed on or after August 1 of this year.

There are currently 2,224 individuals incarcerated in Louisiana for sex crimes against children under 13, according to CBS News. Those convicts could potentially be subjected to the new law if enacted by Governor Landry.

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Meanwhile, critics of the bill – including some Louisiana lawmakers – raised concerns about the severity of the punishment.

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surgical castration louisiana lawmakers punishment child sex offenders
Source: MEGA

While some critics labeled the punishment as “cruel” and “unusual,” others also questioned the efficacy of castration as a deterrent.

While some critics labeled the punishment as “cruel” and “unusual,” others also questioned the efficacy of castration as a deterrent.

“There's not supposed to be any mutilation of people's bodies and that's what this does – it mutilates people's bodies,” one critic said this week. “Now we're going to add in cutting off somebody's testicles? Where do we draw the line on our punishments?”

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Other critics highlighted the state's high rate of wrongful convictions and expressed fears about the implications for individuals who might be wrongly accused.

"I believe there were 10 other people who may have been eligible for this punishment who have been exonerated,” one opponent against the new surgical castration bill noted.

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