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Sex Offenders: Jail Forever, or Voluntary Castration?

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Thanks to the upholding of a federal law, sex offenders like John Albert Gardner III will most likely never be released from prison to repeat their crimes. (Last Friday, Gardner was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for murdering two teenage girls after serving time for another sexual assault of a minor.)


Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that federal officials can keep "sexually dangerous" inmates incarcerated indefinitely. Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion, stated that sex offenders with "serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation" can be held in prison even after they have served out their initial sentence.

Some say this policy should be taken a step further, and that if an offender is found to be likely to repeat his offense, he could opt for voluntary castration -- and be released. According to Susan Feinstein in her article "Castration Works," "Chemical castration decreases the occurrence of repeat offenses from 75 percent to 2 percent."

Do you think sexual offenders should be given the choice of either life in prison or castration?

next: Why Would Bethenny Frankel Deny Being Jewish?
31 comments so far | Post a comment now
Gail Reece May 18, 2010, 3:29 AM

Any sex offender should be castrated whether they want to or not. Any one that would harm children deserves the death penalty really. If not castrated they should rot in prison with no comforts and fed bread and water. Our judicial system just pats them on the hand and tells them not to get caught again. They are not fit to live in society.

Judy Bradley May 18, 2010, 8:23 AM

I was thinking more along the lines of mandatory death penalty.

Cassandra May 18, 2010, 8:33 AM

I also agree that they ALL should be castrated. Now, that does NOT include the 1cyr old boy wo has sex with the 16yr old girl whose parents press charges. The REAL sex ofenders. It is not curable.

Kristin May 18, 2010, 8:58 AM

Cassandra—I’m assuming you meant to type 18. lol

niki May 18, 2010, 9:29 AM

I think that they should be kept even after their sentences are up. Most of them have admitted that their desires and so on never go away and that they are a continued danger even after so called rehabilitation. Castration and then release though. No, I do not think that it would work. WHY??? Well because there is more ways to violate a person than sexual intercourse. There is touching, and on and on (I do not think that I need to go into detail).

Natalie May 18, 2010, 9:46 AM

I don’t think castration is going to stop a sex offender from repeating his behavior. There are many means and methods to sexual violence. They should have pychiatric evaluations required on their first offense (even if minor) to evaluate whether the person would be at a heightened risk to repeat the behavior and they should be monitored much more closely than they are now. I think the system is WAY too lenient on sex offenders - allowing them to live freely among us and report their address to the government is simply not enough in my opinion.

cfcamericadotorg May 18, 2010, 10:00 AM

The new law violates both federal and state constitutions.
Better would be to have the offender evaluated by psychiatrists just after conviction, prior to sentencing.
If the convicted offender is found by a psychiatrist to be a danger to society then sentence that person to indefinite incarceration, or until deemed to be re programed.

Going about destroying the constitution, making ex-post facto laws.. re sentencing a person to indefinite incarceration after they have served their not only morally wrong, but unconstitutional.

The courts need to do their jobs… and, I might add, if the courts sentence a person to prison, who is a threat to society.. the counseling should begin THE DAY THEY HIT PRISON… not 15 years later…with civil commitment.
Why have the tax payers warehouse a person for 15 years, then pay to have them warehoused in a mental health facility for another 50 years…??? OMG, How ignorant can it get? Citizens for Change, America

Tara May 18, 2010, 10:47 AM

I don’t believe castration will work bc what about female sex offenders? Like others have stated there are other ways of sexual violence without having the correct anatomy. On top of that, incarcerating these people forever is expensive. My solution…public executions. Too much? lol

mom in nc May 18, 2010, 10:52 AM

they should not get any choices, the girls and boys they hurt did not have any choice!

md mommy May 18, 2010, 12:33 PM

I do think castration should be required, but I do not think it should be in lieu of jail time - who is to say they would not still touch children or take pictures

friend May 18, 2010, 5:22 PM

just remember that it’s tax payers money that’s housing and feeding these people indefinitely if they are sentenced to life.

Anonymous May 18, 2010, 6:00 PM

Chemical castration should not be used because they could buy hormones over the internet. They should have them cut off slowly with a dull knife. They should not be allowed to have their prison term waived if they do.

anonymouse May 18, 2010, 6:48 PM
gabeygoat May 18, 2010, 10:44 PM

It would be unconstitutional, in that it would violate equal protection, as female perpetrators would not have the option to be castrated.

Rob G May 19, 2010, 6:58 AM

@anonymouse Nice try you moron. is run by Derek Logue, a sexual predator convicted of first degree sexual assault of an 11 year old girl. He’s also closely aligned with SOSEN, another organization founded and run by people with VIOLENT sexual convictions, primarily of children. Their goal is to overturn sex laws worldwide including age of consent laws.

That link you posted is full of lies.

bill May 19, 2010, 10:11 AM

I don’t agree that sex offenders should be incarcerated after their sentence has been served. I don’t defend or sympathize with any kind of sex offender but keeping them them in prison after their time has been served is unconstitutional and morally wrong. The U.S.A MUST, I repeat, MUST remain a country of laws and constitutional compliance. If the U.S. breaks even one part of the constitution, that would set a horrible precedent. What would be next to ‘protect’ our children? Taking away our right to bear arms, assemble peacefully and our right to free speech. The government then will begin to abuse that precedent and apply it to incarerate anybody that they deem a ‘threat’ to their agenda. Such as Teapartiers, and other people who do not support and fight against their one world agenda. That is the MAIN REASON why no one should be kept in prison after their sentence has been completed. BELIEVE IT. the government will use such a precedent against you.

mike May 19, 2010, 1:48 PM

@robg. im not sure how to look at this. i recently did a essay on age of consent. in spain, italy, and mexico, legal consent is 12. i can understand mexico being idiots, but if spain and italy say 12, then they must have a point. America is a prison nation for sure. Just hope that people dont start getting incarcerated for life just for petty theft. im telling you. be scared…america is not the place to be anymore.

betazed May 20, 2010, 9:34 PM

No person should be forced to serve more than their sentence and no act causes a person to be worthy of death. It is not for us to judge who deserves to live and die. While any predatory act taken toward a child or any individual is unfortunate, there are also sexual acts that are consensual and satisfy natural curiosity.

The United States is a sexually repressed nation despising any sexuality that isn’t “normal” including sexuality of any kind in children (this includes child-to-child sexual behavior).

The rights of the accused are being violated by incarcerating them beyond their sentence, the kind of behavior commonly practiced in dictatorships toward those who are unpopular. They are people. They have paid their debt and deserve to have their freedom restored. They may volunteer for castration in exchange for a lighter sentence (and I think a physical castration would be more effective). The wonderful thing about this country is that everyone, including the accused, have rights and every person everywhere in the world has worth and dignity and the inalienable right to have that preserved.

Tom May 20, 2010, 9:51 PM

The right to reproduction is a human right. The United Stated USED to have forced Sterilization laws and we got rid of them because they were unethical. I do not believe this should be an option because it does not solve the root issue at all. Instead you’re just crippling an otherwise potentially functional human being. People who are making a claim that forced castration should be enforced need to seriously reevaluate what they’re really supporting here. Its wrong. Making it optional is better I suppose but shouldn’t we be trying to punish the guilty and mend the mentally ill? Not remove a vital human function from them.

James May 20, 2010, 9:52 PM

Firstly, I dont support eugenic principles. Secondly, what happens to female sex offenders?

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