According to Fox news, “an Alabama lawmaker wants to introduce a new form of punishment in addition to imprisonment for those found guilty of child sexual abuse: permanent surgical castration”. In the same way Africa’s oldest dictator, President Mugabe proposes same sanction for people who rape and molest children.
Alabama state representative, Steve Hurst proposed a bill “that any person over the age of 21 who commits a sex offense against a child 12 years old or younger be surgically and permanently castrated before leaving custody.” As it is, countries like the Czech Republic and Germany have the castration option – surgical and chemical – for convicted sex offenders.
For sure no sanction is commensurate to the sexual molestation of any child; as the law-maker puts it, “they have marked this child for life, and the punishment should fit the crime”. But this raises a lot of questions like, have people become so glued to criminality that it takes the consideration of a very sensitive and harsh deterrent to sound a note of warning? Will this make it any easier for remorseful offenders to plead guilty to their crimes in the court of law? How about female offenders? Since castration does not stop natural urges, will it really be a solution?
In defense of the proposed bill, Hurst says this:
I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said, ‘Don’t you think this is inhumane?’ I asked them what’s more inhumane than when you take a little infant child, and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through… If you want to talk about inhumane, that’s inhumane.
While some think mutilation in addition to imprisonment is too much for the crime, some others think it is not even enough for what they’ve done. Grace Mugabe was the first to make this proposition in Zimbabwe during the campaign against child marriage. Buying her idea President Mugabe takes the proposition very seriously. Weighing the offense he says,
You don’t take that which is not yours. The Muslims say Sharia Law says if you steal, your hand must go. Now if you rape, what must go? You may make it a laughing matter but it’s being considered seriously… I want to protect our children. Men, take care.