Louisiana is ready to take something other than an eye for an eye

Louisiana's new law using surgical castration for sex abuse crimes goes into law on August 1st.

Louisiana is gearing up to attempt surgical castration for sex offenders with a new law that kicks off August 1st. While their crimes are horrendous, this seems to cross the cruel and unusual line in US justice. It seems this is destined for the Supreme Court at some point.

"Some of the critics say, you know, that's cruel and unusual punishment. Well, I disagree. I think the cruel and usual punishment was the rape of that 5 year old," Boyd said.

If it is challenged, O'Neill, the New Orleans-based criminal defense attorney, said it's highly likely the law would be deemed unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

"Surgical castration is generally considered, or was considered, to be sort of like the paradigmatic example of cruel and unusual punishment, because it's a form of physical mutilation. It's barbaric," she said.

Once it's enacted later this summer, O'Neill fears the law could be applied in a discriminatory way — the same way the death penalty and other criminal justice policies tend to be, she said.

There is research that indicates the U.S. criminal justice system is applied unfairly to people of color, especially Black Americans. Research shows the number of imprisoned Black Americans has decreased 39% since its peak in 2002, according to The Sentencing Project, but remains higher for Black Americans generally. And in Louisiana, along with Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, the imprisonment rates are nearly 50% above the national average, according to the organization.

O'Neill says the law also uses vague and potentially confusing terms.


Who knows what the SCOTUS will do with this, as cruelty seems to be something they feel the founding fathers would stand behind.

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