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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:40 PM
Original message
Should rapists be chemically castrated?
Or even surgically castrated to (at the very least) prevent a repeat offender from impregnating a future victim? I'd venture to say that people from both sides of the political spectrum would like to see tougher penalties for these sorts of animals, but where do we draw the line while still not violating the Constitution?

Personally, I'd say that chemical castration is in order. Perhaps it would even serve as a deterrant for a few.

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Goldeneye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. wouldn't that be considered
cruel or unusual punishment?
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Unusual, perhaps.
But it really depends on your definition of "cruel".

Also, some consider "cruel & unusual" as ONE qualifier. Maybe a better wording would be "cruel OR unusual". Just thinking out loud, though.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. We are not sufficiently evolved or enlightened enough
as a species to make that determination.

In other words, don't go there.
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Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. No
If someone's a repeat offender throw them in prison for the rest of their lives. But this is yet another situation where if someone is wrongfully convicted, you can't undo the damage that is done. This is the same problem with the death penalty. Regardless of how you feel about rapists or murderers, the chance that it will be done to an innocent human being is just not worth it. If someone's in prison and they are found to be innocent, you have a chance to rectify that mistake. If they're dead or castrated, there is none.

That being said, I find the idea of state sponsored castrations barbaric, even to a rapist. But even if you don't agree with that, think of someone who's been wrongfully convicted. And there have been plenty of convictions of innocent people in our justice system, for every type of crime there is.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Maybe not in ALL cases.
But what about in the extreme cases? What I'm talking about is overwhelming evidence of violent assault accompanied with DNA proof. Certainly, I wouldn't recommend this sort of punishment in a date rape he said/she said sort of case.
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Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. That's a line that's impossible to draw
You could write into law, "Only in cases where there's overwhelming evidence," but it would would never work out that way in practice. The minute you opened the door to castrations, you'd have ambitious prosecutors trying to use it whenever they felt it would help their careers. There's no such thing as a flawless system, there will always be mistakes.

Do you really thing the people that wrote the Rockefeller drug laws really intended for them to apply to people like the girlfriends of drug dealers that end up getting 30 years because their boyfriends used their phone to do a deal? I doubt it. Yet that happens all the time. When you've crossed over into such a brutal form of punishment, you're opening a door that's best left closed.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. Well stated.
However, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a single law that doesn't get abused by the courts at one time or another. Still, you're probably correct.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
38. Why are you promoting castration?
I don't understand why you are thinking or suggesting that castration should be a punishment option and this could be a unifying political issue. Now you are asking us to imagine hypothetical scenarios of violent rapes and assaults to justify your desire to castrate people.

Yuck.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. Repeat offender?
Rapists shouldn't get out of prison ever for the first crime.
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Maria Celeste Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
36. Warning: I've been assaulted so my opinion on this is *mildly* skewed.
Remove it all (AKA nullification) and require implanted drugs monitored via blood tests for behavior control before they can be released from extended prison terms.

Yes its over the top, yes its over reacting, yes it will never happen, but like I said, I am not impartial on this topic.

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purduejake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Once you start government control of bodies...
it is tough to draw lines in the future.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. That's a very valid point.
But, it's also the same sort of reasoning that gun nuts use to argue with. "If the gub'ment outlaws fully automatic weapons, they've opened the door to taking all of our guns." Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but the "slippery slope" argument works both ways.
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purduejake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
43. Yes, but guns are property, not something as...
sacred as your own body, for lack of a better word. You make a good point, but we're talking about very different things. Limiting ownership rights vs. governmental control of our own bodies.
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rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. I don't think it would do any good
Rape is about power, not sex. There are lots of other ways to violate a person. And a rapist probably wouldn't hesitate to use those. Unless they can figure out a way to castrate a person's urge to dominate another person, I don't think castration of any type would prevent rapists from harming people.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. YES!!! If they are Republicans
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. I'm being serious here. nt
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. i think it's horrible and inexcusable
the desire to f*ck these bastards up is entirely understandable and human, but it is also barbaric and we have governments do our punishment for us so that we don't actually act on our barbaric impulses.

in particular, i can see someone being castrated after being falsely accused, how horrible would that be.

besides, even if he is guilty, it's a bit unreasonable to say that 50 years later, after paying your debt to society and becoming a model citizen, you still shouldn't be allowed to breed.


and as far as serving as a deterrent, that's a crock. the whole point of the castration argument is that they can't control their hormones and nothing will stop them short of castration. well, if that's the case, why would the threat of castration stop them?
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ezgoingrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. Rape isn't about sex.
It's about power. Chemically castration or even surgical castration won't stop a sex offender. I hate to be brash, but there is such a thing as rape by instrumentation.
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FlemingsGhost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. I believe that is considered "sodomy." (n/t)
"I hate to be brash, but there is such a thing as rape by instrumentation."
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ezgoingrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. Yea, yea.
So sorry. lol
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Calanus Donating Member (119 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. Not in CA. That is known as 'penetration by a foreign object'
Sodomy, as per the statute, must involve penetration of the anus by a body member.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. I realize that it's about power.
I just thought that maybe it would stop some unwanted pregnancies. In my OP, I really didn't state that I thought it would be a deterrant. Only that it might be a possibility in a few cases. Truthfully, I doubt that would be the case in all but a handful.

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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. It would possibly stop some unwanted
pregnancies by getting the women killed. Start with an anger against women and add frustration at not being able to overwhelm them the way you are used to and you get the setting for murder.

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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. Should thieves have their hands cut off?
There are places in the world that practice the style of justice you advocate, but not any that I'd care to emulate.
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FlemingsGhost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
14. Yes, considering the U.S. judicial system works flawlessly ...
We NEVER punish innocent people. Oh .. right. They're "animals."

In that case, send them to a Vet.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. That was never implied.
I merely tossed out a topic for discussion, and never stated a position in the matter. Calm down, it's just a message board.
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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Never Stated a Position?
Personally, I'd say that chemical castration is in order. Perhaps it would even serve as a deterrant for a few.

That sounds an awful lot like stating a position to me.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. OK, OK.
How about I just say that I was leaning that way before I posted this, but was looking for some discussion? I probably overstated my opinion in the OP.

Not that I'm trying to "weasel out" of what I said - I'm still leaning more towards it than against. Call it a 60/40 split if you will. I really just wanted to hear what people thought about the subject.

But, yeah, you got me. I bow to your superior reading comprehension skills. :D
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
19. No. He (or she, I guess) should have a great big
R tattoo placed on the ole forehead. Fair warning. If the conviction is reversed, laser removal will be free of charge.

Maybe not such a great idea...
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
21. All chemical castration is, is a depo provera shot.
Chemically castrated men can still have sex. The only thing it really does is lower testosterone levels. I'd never support something irreversible like physical castration but I'm ok with this as a term of parole after some prison time has been served.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. How about *this*?
Perhaps the convicted can be given the option of freezing a sperm sample prior to the sentence being carried out. That way, as you said, he can still function, but couldn't father a child without the consent of the woman involved.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. Chemically castrated men can still father children
and I'd never support something irreversible like sterilizing someone so this is a moot point.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Hold on a sec! Explain something please.
I was under the impression that chemical castration would prevent a man from producing sperm cells. Is that wrong? Does it just cut off the supply of testosterone instead?

I apologize in advance if my entire premise is based on a misunderstanding of the practice.
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jmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. It lowers testosterone levels which
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 06:48 PM by jmm
leads to a lower production of sperm but no, it does not prevent a man from producing sperm.

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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
31. Yes. And so should all GOPrs who choose anti-abortion stance!!
LOL!!!!I'm dreaming....don't wake me up.

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
33. In the abstract
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 06:59 PM by depakid
this is really no different (in kind) than cutting the hand off of a thief. Both involve general and especially specific deterrence and both ostensibly spare the state the expense of incarceration.

Now, if one is inclined to give meaning to the 8th Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment by even the most conservative of doctrines (original intent) this punishment could not be constitutionally justified. On the other hand, if one is willing to allow for a broader interpretation, it's possible that, as an alternative to being sentenced to a long prison term, a convict could be given a choice- and perhaps that choice offers an end run around 8th Amendment concerns.

One of the above posters makes an astute observation about unintended consequences- punitive laws are often applied in ways that most of the drafters probably didn't anticipate- the Rockefeller (or current federal) laws resulting in long prison sentences for women whose boyfriend's were involved in comparatively minor drug trafficking.

I think one can find an even better case on point. Consider Alan Turing.

For those of you who don't know the story, Turing was an incomparably brilliant man whose work was central to breaking the German enigma code in WWII. His work also set the foundation for just about all modern computer software, so if you are reading this, you owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

Turing was also gay.

After WWII, it was still illegal to be gay in Britain and Turing was arrested. Since his work remained top secret, no one knew that he'd been instrumental (some say indispensable) in winning the war. No one could intercede on his behalf.

Upon conviction, he was offered a choice- incarceration or what amounted to chemical castration. His castration came in the form of libido reducing estrogen, the side effects of which, among other things, caused him to grow breasts.

Not long thereafter, Alan Turning committed suicide with a cyanide laced apple. When the authorities found the body, it is said that an apple with a bite out of it lay beside his bed.

That became the logo for apple computers.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Wow. I didn't know about that.
Thanks for that info, depakid. That's the kind of thing that you don't learn in history class.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Thank you for that considered and intelligent post n/t
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CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
35. For what purpose?
While the sperm count is lower in a chemically castrated male, it is not completely gone. Such a male could impregnate a woman.

Rape in and of itself has little to do with sex. Those who rape enjoy the power and control of the situation. Chemical castration typically only serves to frustrate individuals -- they cannot find release even through fantasy. Once the urge for the experience becomes great enough, they will still find a way to exert power and control over another individual. Chemical (even physical) castration just serves to speed this process.

The morning after pill, if offered by medical professionals, could make pregnancy due to rape non-existant.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
37. Rape is a crime of violence that uses sex as the weapon
If we go around taking away the weapon of sex, they'll turn to a weapon of destruction like a knife, a baseball bat or a gun.

Now! If we were to decriminalize pot and to send the pot criminals home from jail, we'd have enough bed space in our prisons to lock rapists up and to keep them there.
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ChairOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
40. Horrific, meet horrific!
Sheesh.

(1) I don't like the idea of The State having the power to legally inflict bodily harm. It's not their place, afaic.

(2) It makes a shaming statement about the nature of your society that you allow the state to kill and maim its citizens. I certainly wouldn't want the be the PR person for such a country.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
41. Thanks everyone, but I'm no longer interested in this topic.
With everything else that is going on tonight, I've lost the will to play devil's advocate. Thanks again to all who participated. I've learned a few things and normally I'd call that a "good day".

That's all. :(

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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
42. No, for various reasons
First, rape is not about sexual activity, it is about domination. Your supposition is that a rapist cannot rape if castrated. I do not believe this to be true, given the underlying reason for the act. He could still commit acts of aggression against his victim, perhaps even more violent, despite the lack of sexual function.

Second, the ethical consideration of mutilation. To castrate an individual for a sexual crime to prevent any further crimes seems to be avoiding any responsibility for rehabilitation. Yes, a civilized society should try to rehabilitate criminals, contrary to what republicans might say. Does the state have responsibility only to the victim, or does it also have responsibility to the aggressor? What about other types of crimes? Remove the hands of thieves? Just does not fit with a civilized society.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
44. Why can't they be incarcerated? What kind of psychotic country are
we living in?
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