Louisiana becomes first state to allow surgical castration as punishment for child molesters – EVOL

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has become the first state where judges can order offenders guilty of certain sex crimes against children to undergo surgical castration under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Tuesday.

While the punishment of surgical castration is used in other countries that are known for harsher criminal sanctions — including the Czech Republic and Nigeria — it will be new in the U.S. The governor’s office confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that Landry had signed the bill earlier in the week.

Proponents of the Louisiana law, which takes effect Aug. 1, hope the new possible punishment will deter people from committing sex crimes against children. Opponents argue that it is “cruel and unusual” punishment in violation of the U.S. Constitution. They say it is sure to face legal challenges.

The legislation gives Louisiana judges the option to sentence someone to surgical castration after the person has been convicted of certain aggravated sex crimes — including rape, incest and molestation — against a child under 13. The punishment is not automatic and would be by individual cases and at the discretion of the judge.

Louisiana has 2,224 people in prison for such crimes.

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