Below I refer to chemical castration, but the article Mr. Cramer links to clearly says "surgical castration". I don't know how I got the idea that it was talking about chemical castration, but Mr. Cramer's thoughts are obviously based on a correct reading of the article. Big difference. My apologies. I'm not going to completely rewrite the post; I trust this correction at the top will suffice.
Clayton Cramer says that imposing chemical castration on forcible rapists is nauseating, and I suppose it is, but I also tend to think it's a reasonable punishment for a horrible crime. I've expressed concern over the excessive ease of obtaining a rape conviction at this time in our society, but assuming a legal process that genuinely proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt I think chemical castration is acceptable. From the article he links to:
The amendment, adopted on a 68-29 vote, would allow for the castration of offenders who commit first- or second-degree rape or forcible sodomy.In the plain language, these are very serious violent crimes, not "mere" date-rape. However, as we see a bit further down:
The original bill - Senate Bill 1413 by Rep. Jim Newport - expanded the definition of forcible sodomy to include consensual sex between an employee of a school district over the age of 18 and a student age 21 or younger.That doesn't seem reasonable at all, and perhaps it explains why Mr. Cramer is disgusted. Once a punishment is acceptable for some set of heinous crimes, it can spread to more minor crimes as well.
"If someone is in college dating a 17-year-old, that's not who we're going after," Piatt said. "We're talking about adults who are preying on our children."Then change the ages in the law. As it is, I wouldn't be comfortable trusting the government with this discretion.
Rep. Abe Deutschendorf argued that surgical castration will not stop violent rapists from committing sex crimes.This is demonstratably false. Some states and countries offer chemical castration drugs to child molesters and they are very effective in eliminating the desire for sexual predation. The idea that rape isn't mostly about sex is a common myth, and I don't understand the purpose behind it. Yes, rape is an act of violence, but it's similar to a robbery in that the violence has a directed purpose and isn't the goal in-and-of itself. Castration (particularly chemical castration, even more-so than physical castration) almost completely eliminates the male sex drive, and thus removes the motivating force behind the violence of rape.
"Rape is not about sex as much as it is about power and violence," said Deutschendorf, D-Lawton. "This will not solve the problem."
Also, it's important to recognize that chemical castration is only in effect as long as the patient takes his pills (or gets his injections of anti-androgens). It's not permanent or irreversible. (If I'm wrong about this, please let me know; I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.)
In general, I approve of attempts to use punishments other than jail time for various crimes. Prisons are expensive to run and often serve to harden incarcerated criminals, making them more dangerous upon release.