Thursday, July 21, 2005
On this day:

House Passes Bill Requiring Surgical Castration of Sex Offenders

The Alabama House gets tough on sex offenders.

The House passed a bill Thursday that would require mandatory castration of persons convicted of violent sex crimes against children under 12 and would require them to wear electronic monitoring devices for the rest of their lives after release from prison.

The House, during more than three hours of debate, heavily amended the legislation proposed by Gov. Bob Riley and Attorney General Troy King. The House bill would prevent all convicted sex offenders from working or loitering within 500 feet of a school, park or business that educates or entertains children. The bill passed the House 96-0.

A milder version of the legislation passed the Senate 35-0. The Senate version provides stiffer penalties for sex offenders, provides for electronic monitoring for at least 10 years and toughens requirements for them to report their location to police, but does not include the castration requirement or other tougher language added in the House...

Either the House or Senate version must pass in the other chamber before the legislation can become law...

The amendment requiring surgical castration for violent offenders who assault children under 12 was introduced by Rep. Steve Hurst, D-Munford. (AP)