Today, in India, the Congress Party’s draft bill, which proposes Chemical Castration, and also suggests extending the jail sentence up to 30 years, will be sent this week to a special committee of jurists.
In India, maximum punishment for rape is life term, but convicts are also eligible for parole after 14 years.
CHEMICAL CASTRATION :
Chemical castration is the administration of medication designed to reduce libido and sexual activity.
Unlike surgical castration, where the testicles or ovaries are removed through an incision in the body, chemical castration does not actually castrate the person, nor is it a form of sterilization.
Chemical castration is generally considered reversible when treatment is discontinued, although permanent effects in body chemistry can sometimes be seen, as in the case of bone density loss increasing with length of use of “Depo Provera”.
Chemical castration has, from time to time, been used as an instrument of public and/or judicial policy despite concerns over human rights and possible side effects.
Chemical castration involves the administration of anti- androgen drugs, such as cyproterone acetate or the birth-control drug Depo-Provera, which is given as an injection every three months, making compliance easier to track.
When used on men, these drugs can reduce sex drive, compulsive sexual fantasies, and capacity for sexual arousal.
Life-threatening side effects are rare, but some users show increases in body fat and reduced bone density, which increase long-term risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
They may also experience other “feminizing” effects such as gynecomastia (development of larger than normal mammary glands in males), reduced body hair, and loss of muscle mass.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES WITH THE AMERICAN EXAMPLE :
California uses chemical castration as a punishment for child molestation. Anyone convicted of child molestation with a minor under 13 years of age may be treated with Depo Provera if they are on parole and it is their second offense and that offenders may not reject the treatment.
In Florida as in California, treatment is mandatory after a second offense.
Besides California and Florida, at least seven other states, including Georgia, Iowa , Louisiana, Montana , Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin, have experimented with chemical castration.
In Iowa, as in California and Florida, offenders may be sentenced to chemical castration in all cases involving serious sex offenses.
On June 25, 2008, following a Supreme Court ruling (Kennedy Vs. Louisiana) that the executionof child rapists where the victim was not killed was unconstitutional, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bill 144,allowing Louisiana judges to sentence convicted rapists to chemical castration.
What we learn from the American Experience is that Castration is a tricky balance between punishment and appeasing the human rights bandwagon.
It tends to dilute the criminal aspect of pedophile or child rape and creates a different set of rules for it.
ARGUMENTS AGAINST CHEMICAL CASTRATION :
1. What most people won’t notice is that there is a big medicine lobby that pushes for chemical castration and now wishes to bring rape under the purview of chemical castration too.
It is a lengthy, expensive procedure. Tax payers’ money will be misused to treat and reform sex offenders, who reportedly can reverse the process by injection hormones purchased cheaply from the Internet.
2. The whole parole concept, counselling, and review thing IS NOT going to work in India. I’ll bet my life on that. The police here is just not enough sensitive. There are not enough people in the force. It will not change overnight.
3. It is an easy way for the Government. Changing rape laws and bringing death as the one and only punishment, the number of offences not withstanding, is a tough job. The Government is shying away from it. Bringing chemical castration in to the scene is an easy but bad fix.
4. The idea behind chemical castration is parole and ‘not execution’ – an unpardonable travesty of justice.
(source : Wikipedia.com)
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