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National Women's Organization Opposes HB 14

08 Jan 2014 8:49 AM | Anonymous

NEWS RELEASE: National women's organization opposes Alabama’s proposed HB 14.

The question we are asking is an obvious one; “do laws such as this truly PROTECT children?”

Alabama Representative Steve Hurst seems to think so. His previous years’ and newly introduced legislation, if enacted, would mandate the Department of Corrections to surgically castrate any person over the age of 21 who has been convicted of a sexual crime against a minor under the age of 12 years.

But a national women's organization is challenging the usefulness of such a law, asserting that it does nothing to increase community safety but seriously infringes upon the rights of registrants and those who are maintaining their innocence of any crime. If the intention is to have sexual offenders not be able to commit another crime against a child, then this legislation is a waste of time and tax payer’s dollars.

Empirical evidence proves that a person willing to offend sexually can and will do so, without the use of body parts. Further, many states’ ACLU organizations have fought and won court cases regarding castration of any means as a violation to the Constitution’s eighth amendment under Cruel and Unusual Punishment.  Additionally, a quote taken from the ACLU states, "The United States penal system effective or not is designed to protect society from harmful members and to rehabilitate those who can eventually rejoin society. Chemical castration does not make sex offenders ready to face society."

In an article published, "Thoughts on Castration for Sex Offenders." The Curvature. March 12th, 2009, states “The idea that it would stop the castrated rapists from raping again, as a general rule? I can believe that. But it won’t stop rape. Not even close. And in the process of stopping a few rapes while failing to stop the vast majority of them, a false sense of what rape is about is heavily stitched onto the public’s consciousness."

As a nationwide organization of wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and other family members, W.A.R. advocates for the rights of the families.  The public registry has evolved into a public ‘hit list” and there is no direct statement indicting “any person or group of persons who bring harm to a registrant OR any member of their family will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  Aren’t all of us, as citizens, entitled to protection under the Constitution?

In a decision from the Supreme Court of the United States,( Skinner v. State of Okl. ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S. Ct. 1110, 1113, 86 L. Ed. 1655 (1942)), But the instant legislation runs afoul of the equal protection clause, though we give Oklahoma that large deference which the rule of the foregoing cases requires. We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race. The power to sterilize, if exercised, may have subtle, far reaching and devastating effects. In evil or reckless hands it can cause races or types which are inimical to the dominant group to wither and disappear. There is no redemption for the individual whom the law touches. Any experiment which the State conducts is to his irreparable injury. He is forever deprived of a basic liberty. We mention these matters not to reexamine the scope of the police power of the States. We advert to them merely in emphasis of our view that strict scrutiny of the classification which a State makes in a sterilization law is essential, lest unwittingly or otherwise invidious discriminations are made against groups or types of individuals in violation of the constitutional guaranty of just and equal laws. The guaranty of ‘equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.” 

Women Against Registry supports the findings and statements of the ACLU in regards to castration of anyone convicted of a sexual crime. “W.A.R. will stand beside the ACLU, The United States Supreme Court and any other organization to back any legal cases to protect the rights of all citizens in the United States, including those who are convicted of sexual offenses,” states Vicki Henry, President. “The effect is just the polar opposite in that it exposes registrants to discrimination and further imposes punitive punishments where our judicial system has failed to rehabilitate our citizens and prepare them for re-entry,” Ms. Henry adds.

"House Bill 14 unjustifiably discriminates against the rights of those convicted of sexual crimes as well as promotes a new type of public discrimination" says Kimberly DuBina, also of W.A.R..

As a matter of policy the organization and its members vigorously oppose any legislation that prohibits those convicted of sexual crimes in maintaining the same rights as any other citizen who have been sentenced and served their time for a crime.

Proponent D. R. Madison concluded, "We oppose any legislation that humiliates and places individuals as well as their families in harm’s way or punishes individuals for longer than their sentence requirements given by the courts."

For more information, visit www.womenagainstregistry.com,
contact@womenagainstregistry.comOR contact
Vicki Henry at 202-630-0345.


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