This regular session of the Louisiana legislature is chock full of sweeping and shocking proposed bills.  Many have rightfully gotten heavy attention, debate and media coverage. For example, there are proposed changes to attract more insurance carriers to the state to theoretically drive down costs. Sounds great, but another proposal is to give insurers more ability to cancel policies and undo current rate controls in place by the Insurance Commission. And there are efforts to severely water down public records request laws at all levels of state government. An alarming bill that passed in an earlier session gives 18 year olds the right to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

But there is an interesting bill that is flying under the radar.  But  Senate Bill 371 by Regina Barrow (D) merits some serious attention. The bill legalizes surgical castration of felons convicted of sexual crimes involving victims under 13 years old.  In men, surgical castration is the removal of the testicles to depress production of testosterone and control sex drive. The procedure would require court approval. The castration is performed during the term of incarceration, and medical evaluations would have to support it.   

Racial Factors

On the Senate floor on April 23, three Black male senators raised strong objections to Barrow’s bill.  Senator Edward Price (D) raised the issues of whether female violators could also be surgically castrated. And he pointed out the larger dilemma of those convicted but later exonerated through the appeals process. Senator Joseph Bouie (D) reminded the audience that castration has historically been used liberally toward black males, and described the procedure as a “type of hate”. Senator Gary Carter (D) reiterated previously expressed concerns about Louisiana’s high exoneration rate.  He labeled it as a “step too far” and “cruel and unusual punishment”.

To no surprise, several white male Republican senators expressed different degrees of support. Caleb Kleinpeter likes the bill just as it is. Two others expressed support for the bill, but want the specific criminal acts for this punishment to be more clearly spelled out. 

Why are the Women Quiet on This One?

To some surprise, no female legislators commented at all.  That’s noteworthy because it could have been an appropriate opportunity and forum to let pro-life men know how many women feel when men insensitively make life altering decisions affecting female bodies. The Senate discussion is only 13 minutes and worth tuning in to starting at 1:15

Like other extreme measures, you can expect the Republican super majority  Senate and House to pass the bill mostly intact. Men commit most sexual crimes, including those against children. Since men are also incarcerated at a much higher rate than women, most convicts who are later exonerated are also men. Castration is irreversible. As per Barrow, we can rely on judges to make the right call on recommendations for castration.

Senator Barrow’s response to the challenges raised by her Democratic colleagues was to deflect and show concern for victims only. While sexual crimes involving children are among the most damaging and disgusting of all crimes, her proposed punishment to violators is anything but “straightforward” or “simple”. One could argue that appropriate prison sentences, coupled with the typical violence imposed on sexual predators while in prison, could suffice as punishment. No therapeutic element is even contemplated. This bill cries out for much more vetting than it has received.

2 thoughts on “Castration Bill: Who Benefits?”
  1. This article was written w a very prejudiced slant and not respectible journalism. No one politically wants a person castersted but if the punishment fits the crime – then let it be so. Race has no bearing on this. Political parties has no bearing – so leave Dem vs Rep out of it. Or maybe Bill Clinton should be caste rated for his history of sex assaults.

  2. What is strange to me is that we are imposing all the responsibility and the punishments on to the public at large. Regardless of how young the citizen is or how archaic the punishment “we The People” suffer.
    Maybe it’s just me but how is Testicular castration even apart of this conversation.
    Wouldn’t Testicular Castration give the advantage to the rapist because less DNA evidence would be available to connect them to the crime?
    Testicular Castration may shrink the size but leaves the rapist with a 100% functioning penis.
    And if Wouldn’t Testicular Castration give the advantage to the rapist because less DNA evidence would be available to connect them to the crime?
    How is Testicular Castration going to benefit the victims of all these rapist who were born without testicles?
    Mutation of any kind is archaic. To consider using mutilation of any person as a punishment with all the information we have to the contrary in 2024 is cruel and unusual by definition.

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