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Upon closing one’s eyes and whilst imagining, before your visage stands a chorus of prepubescent Roman Catholic alter boys with more than exceptional voices. Envision the angelic swell of crescendos dissolving into soft innocuous melodies before once again rising with majestic velocities. Heavenly, right? Not quite. Many boys were stripped of their clothes, drugged with opium, and given warm baths before their testicles were systematically removed by a trained professional (Jenkins 9). With every family during the early 1500s competing for their child to become the next big thing, perhaps it is agreeable that their methods were a bit questionable. It is quite unfortunate, however, that this archaic piece of history is somewhat irrelevant yet not completely superfluous as its motive is one of many that still takes precedence in our modern civilizations. Instead of subjecting boys to great lengths to devote oneself to music, the subject for which this paper is writ is a touch distasteful and is in no way melodious but atrocious.
To be clear, human castration, or otherwise known as gonadectomy, is a contemporary medical procedure intended to remove the testicles or remove the ovaries (Merriam-Webster). On March 7th of 2016, a lawmaker and Republican from Munford, Alabama, Steve Hurst, introduced a bill that would demand sex offenders 21 and older to pay for their own surgical castration as a prerequisite to being released from state custody (CBS 2). Residents expressed their mixed emotions regarding said bill whilst questioning the veracity of its moral indoctrination. Many feared that the implications of the resolution might be considered cruel and unusual punishment, yet understood that its code had been more or less an outdated principle in covenant with a two-thousand-year-old vice where an eye for an eye means mutilation and inhumane consequences despite constitutional decree. Of course, we must ask what must be done about this insidious violation of human decency. If it is not convicting individuals of their pedophilic tendencies and thusly subjecting them to suffering the consequences that are indeed strenuously insufferable, then what resolve promptly and sufficiently satisfies justice and renders these disturbed individuals sutured? Upon consideration, it is with firm and respectful conformation that the cruel peculiarity of court-ordered gonadectomy is not an adherent of justified or pragmatic consequence for child molestation.
According to the eighth amendment of the US Constitution, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” It is because of the United States Constitution that subjecting sex offenders to castration is legally unconstitutional. As one of the most imperative constitutional limitations of the criminal process, its constraints are one of the primal mainstays opposing the unjustifiable use of the American penal process (Dressler 494-498). To clarify, cruel and unusual punishment includes agonizing torment, humiliating or publicly debasing penalty, or punishment that is too severe comparative to the crime committed. The relevance of the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment is exemplified by a 1991 case, Harmelin vs. Michigan, where a man was tried and convicted to life in prison with no chance of parole for carrying about a pound and a half grams of cocaine (Greenhouse 8). It is and has been an unambiguous right of man to have been granted the equitable due process of law as well as equal protection. It is here thusly acclimated by our legal processes to oppose malignant forces with prudence and pragmatic determination against wrongful consequences. As far as capital punishment via castration goes, the American Civil Liberties Union (or ACLU) proposes that chemical castration or surgical gonadectomy violates the eighth amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment as well as the fourteenth amendment that states: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (FindLaw 7-8).
Subjecting sex offenders to chemical castration or surgical gonadectomy would be unconstitutional due to a violation of the eighth amendment, a violation due to the fourteenth amendment, and by accordance of the law, an unjustifiable use of the penal process.
Chemical castration or formally known as “medroxyprogesterone acetate” (or MPA) is a chemically injected serum intended to lower the testosterone production in sex offenders which can be medically counteracted by taking testosterone boosters. However, according to the ACLU, a trial judge is required to have a medical expert who is mandated to determine if the defendant is an appropriate candidate for MPA use. Despite this limitation, a disturbing facet of abuse is exemplified by its vague interpretations of “medical expert” and “appropriate candidate” thusly presenting itself as a primal incitement for warped misconduct and yet with even greater significance of being legally vulnerable, also the vague medical consultant is not mandated to reveal the myriad of medical symptoms MPA induces which are as stated (CS&L 3-4): “… fatigue, mental depression, hyperglycemia…insomnia…difficulty in breathing...nausea, leg cramps, irregular gall bladder function, diverticulitis, aggravation of a migraine, hypogonadism, elevation of the blood pressure, hypertension, phlebitis, diabetic sequelae, thrombosis (leading to heart attack), and shrinkage of the prostate and seminal vessels." Disregarding the vague and seemingly flawed underlining legal minutiae, the use of MPA and its multiple risk factor makes chemical castration an excessive punishment comparative to the crime committed whereas surgical gonadectomy is simply the removal of male testicles or female ovaries clearly stated in paragraph two of the introduction, it would be a viable assumption to mention that the male penis would function as fully operational organ; not to mention that studies have shown that there is a 70% recidivism of sex offender and child molestation criminal activity (Przybylski 10).
Chemical castration poses a myriad of medical risk factors: MPA vulnerability to counteraction via testosterone boosting medication, surgical gonadectomy exposed as ineffective by failing to fully inhibit male erectile function thereby rendering penetration still a possibility, and recidivism rates proposing chemically and/or surgically castrated individual’s inoperable threats to society.
According to child protective services, an estimate of approximately 896,000 children were victims of child abuse, and the most serious cases of abuse result in approximately 1,400 child deaths per year, the younger children being the most vulnerable; out of the 1,400 deaths in 2002, 75% had been under the age of four (Ciment 308-318). There seems to be a more residual and a more powerful hate towards paedophilia and child molestation, and rightly so. Officially described as a reoccurring and intense sexual urge and/or arousal, fantasies, or behaviours involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child that is usually thirteen years of age or younger, paedophilia is recognized as an extremely harmful and deviant sexual behaviour (McAnulty 81-95). No question about it, these individuals suffer a great psychological disturbance that branches out beyond the realm of human empathy. Of course, three-fourths of the victims who suffered child molestation in a national US sample group waited on average five years before divulging that they had been a victim of foul play, typically, by confiding in friends (Wright 167-171).
Once again, we must ask ourselves, how do we properly handle these invidious characters? Is it right to let them live knowing that their greatest contribution to society was the most abominable? Is it merciful to let our people live amongst these foul individuals while they rape justice and inseminate our lives with undeserved clemency? In 1987, a study revealed from the mouths of 651 sex offenders who were guaranteed anonymity, admitted to an abundant sum of 291,737 sex crimes against a total of 195,407 victims under the age of eighteen. Collectively, each offender committed an average of 75 abominable corruptions that had not been detected (Wright 161-171). Chemical castration and/or surgical gonadectomy is not constitutional or even practical, but it is just as unnecessary when one resolution benefits our nation the most: One bullet, one monster.
A grand portion of children were violated of their innocence (approx. 1,400 per year), an abundance of sex offenses are not detected (75 crimes/651 anonymous sex offenders in 2002), and far too many do not receive sufficient consequences and even so, chemical castration and or/surgical gonadectomy would not be enough. As a counterproposal, it is being suggested that one bullet is sufficient consequences for child molestation and/or fatal or nearly fatal child abuse. The new resolution is cheaper and will replace the number of individuals being incarcerated by tax payers after implemented resolve, it will send a strict message of the legitimacy of the unquestionable immorality of child molestation to undetected or potential sex offenders, and efficiently benefit society by significantly lowering recidivism rates.
Many would argue that it is our duty to humanity to introduce them back to society, with mercy, so that they can become productive citizens. To them, I say the worst kind of individual is a bartender who has raped seven-year-old boys, or a garbage man who has beaten his children and molested them of their innocence. Many would also argue that the circumstances of the insufferable acts committed by these fraudulent fiends masquerading as humans, incapable of empathy, are not inherent in the rights we are so graciously adhered to, but it is because we are human and we must strive to do what is best for the greatest good for the greatest number of people, that we must consider revising how we look at these disturbed individuals. It is quoted by Republican Steve Hurst himself, "Some people have said it's inhumane, but what's more inhumane than molesting a child?" [CBS 13]. Perhaps subjecting the worst kinds of individuals to an insufficient, relatively ineffective, and completely impractical form of capital punishment, only to incarcerate them with tax payer’s money and then be released by the state to become yet another recidivism statistic and relapse. These individuals are more of a risk to society when we let them live opposed to ridding the world of one more detestable scoff mark.
The world must see a brighter future where the insurgents that fight what is known to be right, hiding or dead. One bullet, one monster. Removing the object of their sadistic delight is simply not enough when there is a better option.
CBS/AP “Lawmaker Introduces Sex Offender Castration Bill in Alabama” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lawmaker-introduces-sex-offender-castration-bill-in-alabama/ March 7th, 2016 (Accessed March 4, 2017) This source from CBS will demonstrate the relevance of chemical castration/surgical gonadectomy in or contemporary legal process.
(CS&L) Center for Science and Law “MPA & the Chemical Castration of Sex Offenders” http://www.neulaw.org/blog/1034-class-blog/4070-mpa-a-the-chemical-castration-of-sex-offenders (Published October 31st, 2012) Accessed March 5, 2017. This source from CS&L will demonstrate why chemical castration is more harmful than necessary and why the law regarding chemical castration is compromised.
Ciment, James; editor. “Social Issues in America: An Encyclopedia Volume 2; Child Abuse & Molestation, Written by Green, Keith J.,” Pgs. 308-318. Published 2006; Accessed February 21, 2017. The source from Ciment, James will emphasise the legitimacy of child abuse in the United States and how many get away with it.
Dressler, Joshua; editor. “Encyclopaedia of Crime & Justice: Second Edition; Cruel & Unusual Punishment, Written By Dubber, Markus D.,” pgs. 494- 498. Published 2002; Accessed February 21, 2011. This source is being used to underline the relevance and importance in the contribution of the penal system.
FindLaw Law Firm Co. “Chemical and Surgical Castration” http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/chemical-and-surgical-castration.html Copyright 2017 (Accessed March 5, 2017) This source is being used to clearly define the eighth and fourteenth amendment and how chemical castration and surgical gonadectomy violate them.
Greenhouse, Linda “The Supreme Court; Mandatory Life Term Is Upheld in Drug Cases” http://www.nytimes.com/1991/06/28/us/the-supreme-court-mandatory-life-term-is-upheld-in-drug-cases.html June 28, 1991 (Accessed March 4, 2017) This source is being used to exemplify how the question of cruel and unusual punishment was used in a court case.
J.S. Jenkins; writer. “The Voice of the Castrato: Section 5, Paragraph 2; The Making of a Castrato,” http://www.usrf.org/news/010308-jenkins_lancet.html. Published 1998, Accessed February 21, 2017. This source is supposed to briefly explain the history of castration and what it was once used for.
Merriam-Webster Organization “gonadectomy- surgical removal of an ovary or testis” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gonadectomy Since 1828. Accessed February 21, 2017. This source is used to define “gonadectomy.”
McAnulty, Richard D. & Burnette, M. Michele; editor(s). “Sex & Sexuality: Volume III Sexual Deviation and Sexual Offences, Chap. 4; Pedophilia; Written by McAnulty, Richard D.,” pgs. 81-95 Published 2006; Accessed February 15, 2017. This source is supposed to be used to underline the malevolent relevance of child molesters and paedophiles in the United States.
Przyblyski, Roger “Chapter 5: Adult Sex Offender Recidivism” http://www.chapmanlawreview.com/archives/1614 (Published 2012) Accessed March 5, 2017. This source is supposed to underline the sociological recidivism rates of adult sex offenders.
Wright, Richard A., & Miller, J. Mitchell; Edited By. “Encyclopedia of Criminology; Volume I A-G; Child Molestation, Written By Stalans, Loretta J.,” pgs. 167-171 Published 2005; Accessed February 21, 2017. This source is supposed to emphasise the number of child molestation cases went undetected.