Sen. Hanger Proposes Castration for Sex Offenders

For civil libertarians, the gradual de-evolution of our criminal justice system just got a bit more medieval. Virginia Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger is upset about the prison budget so he has found a way to trim costs by simply castrating sexual offenders. This is the same proposal vetoed four years ago, but there is now a conservative Republican governor in office and some believe it could pass.

The bill would apply to sexually violent predators. Hanger objects to an increase in the civil commitment program to $70 million over the next two years.

Of course, the bill would also cost millions in legal challenges after being challenged as cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.

Hanger insists that he is only proposing a “partial cure” to help these men and “It’s just something that’s not typically the thing you want to bring up in polite conversation.”

Eight other states allow for castration and two allow for physical castration.

The question has only been dealt with tangentially by some courts because castration programs are often voluntary. The Ninth Circuit noted in 2008 in United States v. Cope:

We have no doubt that chemical castration would, if prescribed against the will of a defendant on [**26] supervised release, implicate a particularly significant liberty interest. Like antispychotic medication, chemical castration interferes with mental processes and alters behavior. See, e.g., People v. Gauntlett, 134 Mich. App. 737, 352 N.W.2d 310, 314-16 (Mich. Ct. App. 1984); John F. Stinneford, Incapacitation Through Maiming: Chemical Castration, the Eighth Amendment, and the Denial of Human Dignity, 3 St. Thomas L.J. 559 (2006). It may also cause serious side effects, such as cancer and depression. Gauntlett, 352 N.W.2d at 315; Physician’s Desk Reference 2624 (61st ed., 2007) (discussing Depo-Provera, a hormonal drug used for chemical castration). As a result, chemical castration is certainly as intrusive as antipsychotic medication or penile plethysmograph testing. See Weber, 451 F.3d at 561-64;Williams, 356 F.3d at 1054. In fact, chemical castration may be found at the extreme end of the spectrum of intrusive medications and procedures, and there may well be other conditions of supervised release that qualify for Williams and Weber findings without reaching that level of intrusion. We do not doubt that there will be other types of medication or procedures designed to rehabilitate or deter, either extant or not yet in existence, which, if forced upon a defendant as a condition of supervised release, would implicate particularly significant liberty interests. Cf., e.g., Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (W. W. Norton & Co. 1962).

Hanger would start with a study on the use of castration in the Virginia penal system.

Source: Washington Times

47 thoughts on “Sen. Hanger Proposes Castration for Sex Offenders”

  1. LK:

    “money shot” Like Michelle Bachmann giving the response to the SOTU the other night? :=)

    I saw where Joy Behar of the view said “Bachmann is so far to the right,that she looked right the whole time she was talking”

  2. The upside of Sen. Hanger’s proposal is that videos of the castrations could be submitted to everyone’s favorite “reality” show, “America’s Funniest Groin Injuries.”

  3. RE: Theresa, January 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Sex offenders (whether they are violent or not) are dangerous.


    I am skeptical when I come across what I know to be an overgeneralization. Some sex offenders are dangerous, others are not, in the usual sense particularly dangerous.

    There are parents who sexually abuse their children because the children resist “following orders” from their parents. Such parents tend to be authoritarian in parenting orientation, and find that what might be deemed moderate sexual improprieties with their children gives the parents the illusion of better control over their children.

    In my iatrogenic psychiatric hospital inpatient days, quite a few of the people I came to know on the various units where I lived had been sexually abused by their parents, all the way to becoming suicidal and hospitalized. The parents were merely attempting to control their children and, when less terrible methods did not work ended up with sexual abuse as the best way to protect their children.

    It reminds me of saving the My Lai hamlet of the Song My village, an officer said after the My Lai massacre, “we had to destroy it to save it.”

    There are parents who sexually offended without getting caught by law enforcement, and I have known some such, their children are adults, and the parents are not dangerous people in the criminal sense.

    Yet a serious problem remains. Sexual abuse can be a truly terrible experience. The boy in high school who molested me (once, only once) in high school was driven in part to do what he did by the gym teacher’s psychological abuse directed toward me because I simply did not and do not believe that competition is the optimal way for people to build a decent society. Because I was able to prevent a second or subsequent incident, and made it clear to the boy that I did not blame him, nor wanted him punished, I understand that he subsequently lived a rather exemplary life.

    So, no, sex offenders sometimes are merely badly hurt people who foolishly act out their hurts because they were effectively forbidden to talk about the hurts.

  4. Buddha Is Laughing: “Rich, Why stop at the VA house?

    Castrating 99% of Congress to keep their malformed sociopathic genes from propagating and ending the cycle of “my daddy was in Congress so I’m automatically entitled to and qualified for office” sounds like a good idea.

    And damn fine television.”

    Make it pay-per-view and we’d be on our way to a balanced budget. 🙂

  5. Rafflaw: “eniobob, I wonder if the “sexologist” John Money that you mentioned was the originator of the term, the “Money” shot?”

    eniobob: “raff: Have no idea what that term means,LOL!!!!!!!!”

    I do, LOL, Raff, you are on a roll and a bad boy 🙂

    Ebob, you know that inevitable facial close-up in a porn movie? It’s there as ‘proof’ that actual sex is happening and you, as the buyer of the porn, got your money’s worth. The money shot. It has entered the vernacular to mean the argument, statement, footage, action the gets to the heart of the matter or is as good (real) as you can get.

    There was a moment during the CNN coverage of the rescue of the Chilean miners when Larry king and some other commentator were watching the action and a miner was saved and the commentator said “There’s the money shot”. he had no idea what the origin of the saying was but Larry King did and had to work to suppress both his smile and horror at that faux’ pas.

  6. Sex offenders (whether they are violent or not) are dangerous. I do not think castration is going to fix the problem. Those who commit these acts are doing so because something is seriously wrong with them – it is a crime of power, dominance, and violence. They can still do hideous things because they are deranged and need to be locked up and kept away from society. This method should never be in lieu of prison. They need to be kept away from society for as long as possible.

  7. eniobob,
    I wonder if the “sexologist” John Money that you mentioned was the originator of the term, the “Money” shot?

  8. Paraphilia

    Paraphilia (in Greek para παρά = beside and -philia φιλία = friendship, having the meaning of love) is a biomedical term used to describe sexual arousal to objects, situations, or individuals that are not part of normative stimulation and that may cause distress or serious problems for the paraphiliac or persons associated with him or her. A paraphilia involves sexual arousal and gratification towards sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme.[1] The term was coined by Wilhelm Stekel in the 1920s.[2] Controversial sexologist John Money later popularized the term as a nonpejorative designation for unusual sexual interests.[3][4][5][6] He described paraphilia as “a sexuoerotic embellishment of, or alternative to the official, ideological norm.”

  9. There be two kinds of punishment, on being unkind and the other kind.

    Unkind punishment is of assigning situational factors to person. This unkind punishment commonly involves hurting someone who acted out having been hurt because talking out hurts has been previously ruled out by hurtful punishment for talking about having been hurt.

    Unkind punishment involves hurting a hurting person even more than the person was already hurting. Unkind punishment increases the amount of hurting that is happening, thus, instead iof punishing hurtful behaviour, unkind punishment reinforces unkind behavior.

    Kind punishment reduces the future likelihood of unkind behaviour by not doing unkind, hurtful things to an already hurting person and thereby avoiding hurting the person even more than the hurting person is already hurting.

    Retaliatory punishment in kind is unkind. It also tends to produce the sort of behavior it pretends to reduce.

    Of course, a person can be punished into submission, but such submission is often a form of focal catatonic stupor, and folks so punished may appear to be better behaved until some event triggers decompensation of the focal stupor and the recidivism thing rears its ugly nature.

    For those not condemned to experience thoughts in words, this is awefully simple. And not cruel.

    The problem may be that treating very badly hurting people with simple, respectful decency is so unusual as to be unconstitutional merely because of being unusual.

    It seems to me that “or” in law jargon is always “exclusive-or,” whereas in electronic logic gate design, or is inclusive and exclusive-or needs to be clearly specified when intended.

    So, I guess, in law jargon, “and” is always to be taken as “and/or” because the usual law jargon use of “or” excludes “and/or.”



    The prosecutor asks the defendant, “Did you drink coffee or tea?”

    The defendant answers, “Yes.”

    The prosecutor repeats, “Did you drink coffee or tea?”

    The defendant again says, “Yes.”

    The judge says, “Answer the question!”

    The defendant says, “I did, twice.”

    The judge pronounces “Contempt of Court.”

    Am I a “Yes, and…” person, or am I a “Yes, and/or…” person?

    I find no distinction between “Yes, and…” and “Yes, and/or…”

    What am I missing?

  10. Mike Spindell @ 1:04 pm:

    So true – in addition to STD’s and unwanted pregnancies, the South is also the largest market in the country for purchasing porn.

  11. “I know they know what condoms are, they aren’t that ignorant.”

    Chan L.,
    somewhat witty reply, but incorrect. They don’t know about condoms because teaching of their benefit is mostly verboten.

  12. When I find superstitious religious pseudoscience views masquerading as though scientific and not mere superstition, I find myself pondering what to write or say.

    There are thieves and there are strong thieves.

    [begin quote]
    The Strong Thief

    The maggid of Mexritch said:
    ” Every lock has its key which is fitted to it and opens it. But there are strong thieves who know how to open without keys. They break the lock. So every mystery in the world can be unriddled by the particular kind of meditation fitted to it. But God loves the thief who breaks the lock open; I mean the man who breaks his heart for God.”

    From Martin Buber, “Tales of the Hasidim,” Olga Marx, tr., Schocken Books, New York, (c) 1947, 1975, 1991, page 104; used by permission.

    Human sexual violence and sexual violation of people are forms of addictive trauma response, in which a traumatization-derived sense of inadequacy is displaced onto striving for some sort of adequacy as a substitute for a sense of personal worth and validity.

    Such abuse is essential in the early childhood socialization of boys who will be required to become soldiers in the wars of their generations, when those wars come.

    Alas, to make boys willing to become warriors in violent wars, the boys need to be emasculated in terms of their inborn sense of being valid persons, so that self-hatred inculcated through the authoritarian methods of the infant-child transition can become intense enough to be projected on the supposed enemy.

    The real enemy is not the soldiers or warriors of the purported “enemy nation,” the real enemy is self-hatred so intensely indoctrinated that what is an atrocity of nurture can pretend to be an intrinsic property of the nature of manhood.

    The root cause of human violence, including sexual violence, is the violation of the inborn truthfulness of little children, the intensity of this violence being manifest in the most extreme forms of seemingly deliberate human violence we are able to observe.

    There is an interesting feature of the brain process of addiction; the process of vicious cycles of circus rhythms within the neurons of human brains who have become addicted to vicious cycles of circus rhythms.

    The interesting feature is this. When someone similar to me, not caught up in such addictive circus rhythms comes along and tells of his or her life, those caught by addictive patterns tend to become angry, sometimes very, very angry, and direct their anger toward those not caught in such circus rhythms.

    Which I have noted here on this blawg many times.

    I have a simple test for sorting out who is, and who is not an addict, in the sense of using displacement in the form of imago projection onto other people.

    For those who have no familiarity with my research, I here give the test, it is merely three questions, to wit”
    1. Ever make mistakes?
    2. Ever make a mistake you shouldn’t have made?
    3. Ever make a mistake you could have avoided?

    Any person who three times answers, “Yes,” is an addicted person.

    How have I always answered those three questions?
    1. What do you mean by “mistake”?
    2. NO!
    3. NO!

    I am not addicted.

    How about you?

    There are thieves, there are strong thieves, and there are exceptionally strong thieves.

    I am a thief. I come to thieve that which thieves from people their sense of intrinsic validity and worth. That sense, the beliefs which drive all forms of addictive behavior, are of the delusional, they are beliefs which purport the existence of what, except as they are of psychosis, simply cannot exist.

    I am a thief whose thievery is only to take away that which hurts little children, doing so for the sake of future’s children, and the future is now.

    Am I a feeble thief, a weak thief, an ordinary thief, a strong thief, or an exceptionally strong thief?

    That is the hypothesis being tested.

    My life, and also the lives of other autistic people, is the test.

    We will successfully eliminate sexual misconduct by eliminating that which actually causes sexual misconduct, and, while we are at it, will also successfully eliminate individual psychopathy and sociopathy as we remove from socialization methodology that which abuses children into becoming addicted to pathology by mere exposure of such intensity as to prevent other than mass pathology.

    How do I know such is possible? I live it, here and now, for real.

    Truthfully tell me of one mistake actually made and truthfully tell me of an actually achievable process through which the mistake actually made could truthfully have actually been avoided, and my research work and findings belong in the trash.

    Tricks and deceptions will not suffice as actual. Unless you can demonstrate, and patent, the actual working time machine that uses time-travel to actually change the actual past, superstitions of mathematical splendor which cannot actually be demonstrated are mere superstitious fantasies to me. I mean actually.

    Make a mistake you did not intend to make. Learn after making the mistake that you had made the mistake. Show me the mistake you made. Then show me the time travel machine, and demonstrate its functionality by going back in time and correcting the mistake, and return and show me both the mistake made and its corrected version so I can actually compare them and verify that a mistake actually made was corrected at the time it was made at a time after it was made, so that I can actually verify that such a mistake can exist, and I shall capitulate, concede, and apologize.

    Superstitious nonsense does not count in my work.

Comments are closed.