One lawmaker plans to push a very controversial bill.
State Rep. Steve Hurst is proposing a bill requiring convicted sex offenders whose victims are 12 years or younger to be surgically castrated before being released from prison. The current bill would also require the convict to pay for the procedure.
Hurst has a very strong stance on the issue and he feels confident the measure would pass if he asked Alabamians to vote on it.
"If it would work on one person to stop them from molesting a child, I would be pleased," Hurst said.
And that's why he's ready to fight for his bill in the 2014 legislative session.
"The thing that bothers me people want to say this is inhumane. How much more inhumane can it be than to sexually molest or torture a child," Hurst said.
This will be the fourth time Hurst has introduced the bill that has never made it out of committee. Hurst says most of the time, the reasoning for not putting it to a full vote is the same.
"People are telling me we can't pass this because the courts will strike it down. What I say is let's try and see. Let's find out if the courts will strike it down," Hurst said.
Hurst says he's even willing to put it to a vote of the people. But would voters support it? Johnny Donald would.
"There are plenty of pedophiles don't get punished by what they do. And I think this would get their attention if they passed this law," he said.
But Karla Ross has a different perspective.
"I can understand the lawmaker's frustration or disdain with sex offenders and I can understand him wanting to take that route. But my first thought is: ye who are without sin cast the first stone," Ross said.
Ross says there are other ways to hold sex offenders accountable. But Hurst says options like ankle bracelets and medications aren't strong enough.
"Children cannot protect themselves and we need to make some kind of statement to the public that Alabama will not tolerate this type of action," Hurst said.
Hurst has had some success in passing bills that deal with sex offenders. One requires offenders whose victims are under six years of age to face a term of life in prison.
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