Louisiana Becomes First State to Allow Surgical Castration as Punishment for Child Molesters

Will U.S. Bishops respond?

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.

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