28 May 2012

Chemical Castration Gaining Ground

Chemical Castration
Many hoped that a radical method to deal with rapist will be adopted by all countries soon, but it appears that South Korea does not want to wait any longer. Korean media announced on 23 May 2012 that their government will chemically castrate a serial rapist who preyed on young girls.

The 45-year-old offender, identified only as Park, was convicted of four rapes or attempted rapes on children under the age of 13 between 1984 and 2002. He will also be the first person in South Korea that will suffer the punishment since the legislation was passed in 2010.

The legislation is intended for use against people who are believed to be likely to reoffend.

A justice ministry committee considers whether to carry out chemical castration for criminals aged over 19 years who have committed crimes against children under the age of 16.

Chemical castration is defined by Wikipedia as 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. 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.

The ministry said that Park will be released from prison in July this year under the condition that he receive injections every three months for three years.

Under the law, those who refuse or miss an injection could be returned to prison for up to seven years.

Other countries also have been moving ahead with laws allowing chemical castration for sex offenders.

Russian lawmakers in October 2011 gave first-round approval to a bill that would impose chemical castration on repeat sex offenders. Poland legalized the procedure in 2009 for offenders who rape minors or close relatives.

Already, Britain, Denmark and Sweden offer chemical castration drugs to sex offenders on a voluntary basis. In the United States, several states have laws allowing chemical castration.