Republican State Representative Rick West, who is a first-term lawmaker from Heavener, Oklahoma, wants his state to join the list of places in the US where so-called chemical castration is an option for certain sex offenders (even though this rarely gets used).
Mr. West claims he filed the bill at the request of one of his constituents and that he fully intends to push for its passage in the conservative state which has a tough-on-crime reputation.
He explains that: “When I knocked on that guy’s door when I was campaigning, he said: ‘I’ll vote for you if you’ll run this bill.’”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fox News Some sex offenders could opt for chemical castration under Oklahoma bill Fox News Oklahoma state Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, has introduced a bill allowing some sex offenders to undergo so-called "chemical castration" as a condition of release.… <a href="https://t.co/RzqbwNy5Wt">https://t.co/RzqbwNy5Wt</a> <a href="https://t.co/54j1MWkGbC">pic.twitter.com/54j1MWkGbC</a></p>— US Live News (@USLiveNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/USLiveNews/status/960176400958238721?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 4, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The Republican lawmaker who in the past successfully introduced other measures, states he’s very confident that his constituents will support harsh efforts to prevent future sex crimes from happening, especially if they take place against children.
The Oklahoman American Civil Liberties Union chapter expressed its concern about Mr. West’s proposal: “It’s hard to imagine this couldn’t be considered cruel or unusual.”
A spokeswoman for the Civil Liberties Union, Ms. Allie Shinn, continued by saying: “I don’t want to place too much faith in the Oklahoma Legislature to avoid blatantly unconstitutional proposals, but we’re hopeful this bill, as written, is just too extreme to move.”
Meanwhile, the expert on the subject of sex crimes, Law Professor Frank Zimrig, stated that the drugs are most successful if you give them to offenders that actually want to change their behavior: “Chemical castration is half advertising slogan, half fantasy.”
“There are chemicals which are supposed to, if dosages are maintained, reduce sex drives. That isn’t castration.”
If Mr. West’s proposal were to be approved, Oklahoma would be joining seven other US states that have such laws allowing chemical treatments for sex offenders.