There’s a growing movement in the US that threatens to return us to the age of cruel and barbaric punishments. Ten US states have considered chemical castration as a form of punishment for sex offenders.
California and Florida require involuntary castration after a second sex offense with a minor. In 2019, Alabama passed a law allowing judges to order the castration of anyone convicted of rape. While these legally mandated castrations are certainly shocking, Texas has very different terms.
While Texas passed a chemical castration law in 1997, it has seen very limited use. Chemical castration is completely voluntary and requires that sex offenders meet a list of criteria before agreeing to the procedure.
Anyone Texan submitting to chemical castration must be over the age of 21, have at least two sex crime convictions, a year and a half of therapy and mental evaluations, have received hormone suppressants, and must willingly submit to the procedure.
This is a far cry from the laws of neighboring southern states, where parole ransomed for the price of potentially permanent castration.
Our criminal justice system is built on the presumption of innocence. We ask the jury to convict only when the evidence is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Despite this, thousands of people are falsely convicted and must bear the consequences.
In California, those consequences might mean irreversible changes to someone’s mind and body. The procedure cannot be undone; that’s what makes it so dangerous as a tool for punishment. If conflicting evidence came forward in the future, it would be too late. That’s the danger of giving these states complete control over someone’s life.
Thankfully, Texas handles things a little differently.
If you were accused of a sex crime, you probably have a lot of questions. If you’d like to speak with an experienced Bryan, TX criminal defense attorney from The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C., please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (979) 773-7028.