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Castration for Sex Offenders

April 04, 1986

So the Board of Supervisors is considering castration to punish mentally disordered sex offenders. Since men are not the only such offenders, the board will also have to consider inflicting sexual mutilation on (shudder) women. The question will become whether we should do "it" to rapists, prostitutes and child molesters.

Fortunately, the question already has been answered. Involuntary sterilization (let alone castration) of convicts is prohibited under the California Constitution.

As a federal judge more dramatically, if less pertinently, wrote: "No one can doubt but that under our present civilization if castration were to be adopted as a mode of punishment for any crime, all minds would so revolt that all courts without hesitation would declare it to be (constitutionally prohibited) cruel and unusual punishment." Davis vs. Berry, 216 F. 413, 417 (D.S.D. 1914).

Maybe we should elect some lawyers as supervisors so that they won't waste our money studying unconstitutional proposals.

MARGARET L. BROWN

San Gabriel

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