March 11, 2009

"Having his testicles removed, he said, was like draining the gasoline from a car hard-wired to crash."

"A large, dough-faced man, he is sterile and has forsaken marriage, romantic relationships and sex, he said. His life revolves around a Catholic charity, where he is a gardener."

Castration for rapists. Offered in to some criminals in the Czech Republic and condemned by the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee as "invasive, irreversible and mutilating."

56 comments:

mcg said...

I found this quote funny:

Although the procedure is voluntary, [Slovenian human rights lawyer] Mr. Butala said that he believed some offenders felt they had no choice. “Sex offenders are requesting castration in hope of getting released from a life of incarceration,” he said. “Is that really free and informed consent?”

So Mr. Butala is saying that these sex offenders have no real choice in the matter; therefore, I assume, he would have them be stripped of that option altogether so that they really do have no choice in the matter.

Honestly, my only concern is whether or not this is truly effective. I mean, is it genuinely effective at curbing the appetites of sex offenders? What scientific evidence is there to support it? Can these folks obtain testosterone replacement shots (illegally, presumably) and be their jolly old sex offending selves again?

rhhardin said...

It's too late to be any use in the church choir.

Bob said...

condemned by the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee as "invasive, irreversible and mutilating."

They say that like it's a bad thing.

;-)

Bob said...

I also notice that's the second male mutilation post in a row. Did you have a bad date recently, Ann?

TMink said...

I am not familiar with the castration literature. That was sure a fun sentence to write. But the perpetration rates of convicted pedophiles average 134 victims.

I would be fine offering those monsters castration, if it worked. Otherwise, lock em up and keep em that way.

Trey

chickenlittle said...

I also notice that's the second male mutilation post in a row.

She's just softening us up for a big post on circumcision.

Simon said...

Also irreversible: rape.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you have a bad date recently, Ann?"

Ha ha. Quite the opposite. I've become highly attuned to the vast importance of good kissing. But this story is just, in the abstract, insanely bloggable. It's like the chimp that ate a woman's face. The only question is what would possibly motivate me to resist blogging this.

Chip Ahoy said...

It reminds me of Ann Rice's Cry to Heaven

Pogo said...

The death penalty would be the most permanent solution. If the evidence is irrefutable (DNA and not witness-only), this sounds fine.

The problem lies in the cases of women lying, say about date-rape.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The problem lies in the cases of women lying, say about date-rape.

Oh piffle. You know damn well that never happens.

MadisonMan said...

It's like the chimp that ate a woman's face.

This sentence amuses me, and I'm not sure why.

And I echo mcg's question: is this effective? Are rapists driven by testicle-produced testosterone, or by something else. I assume it's the latter in which case the orchiectomy isn't going to be very effective.

garage mahal said...

My neighbor is like "hey check this website of all the sex offenders in our neighborhood". And I'm like "nah man, I don't think I wanna know". Then he says, "dude you HAVE to see this". So I look, and.....**gulp**.

There's something seriously fucking wrong with these people and the way I look at it is there are dozens of known terrorists in my neighborhood -- and I don't understand why they, of all people, get to run around free while we clog the courts and jails with stupid petty minor drug offenses.

Shanna said...

I don't understand why they, of all people, get to run around free while we clog the courts and jails with stupid petty minor drug offenses.

ITA. I tend to think, just on principle, that violent offenders and thieves, ie, people who have actually HARMED someone else in committing a crime, should get longer sentences than drug folks. Well, I really don’t think drug folks should go to jail at all personally…maybe pay a fine, if we are going to keep things illegal.
The problem with a lot of rape, though, is that it’s sometimes hard to prove (especially date rape).

And people who f*** children (real children, not 17 year olds) need to go to jail and never come out because that doesn't get fixed.

David said...

"Ha. Ha. Quite the opposite."

Women are such wonderful teases.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Shanna, I second that

Freeman Hunt said...

Castration is probably better than what I would propose for child rape: the death penalty. Castration seems like a good idea for rapists; I don't see why they shouldn't have that choice.

paul a'barge said...

I say this in all seriousness ... I prefer that we execute repeat sex offenders.

How 'bout those apples, Europe?

Methadras said...

What about the nullo community, hmmm? Is there no compassion for nullo's. Anti-nullo intolerant bastards.

mdulakthomson said...

garage mahal,

If you want yet longer sentences for sex offenders, you can always petition your lawmakers for 'em.

I don't understand why people should want easy access to their neighbors' records of sexual crimes, but not of other crimes. Don't you want to know how many people in your neighborhood have committed manslaughter, or assault, or armed robbery, or burglary? And what their names and addresses are? Why ever not?

Myself, I think a crime followed by a served sentence ought to be regarded as past history. Quaint, isn't it?

Freeman Hunt said...

If you want yet longer sentences for sex offenders, you can always petition your lawmakers for 'em.

Okay. How about we make it easy and just say "until death." We have the "life" sentence, but it's so often not for life. We need a sentence that means "you are to be incarcerated until you die." Sounds like a good sentence for all instances of forcible rape or pedophilia.

Pogo said...

"Myself, I think a crime followed by a served sentence ought to be regarded as past history. Quaint, isn't it?"

Not quaint, but erroneous.

Theodore Dalrymple: The Frivolity of Evil
City Journal; Autumn - 2004
"When prisoners are released from prison, they often say that they have paid their debt to society. This is absurd, of course: crime is not a matter of double-entry bookkeeping. You cannot pay a debt by having caused even greater expense, nor can you pay in advance for a bank robbery by offering to serve a prison sentence before you commit it. Perhaps, metaphorically speaking, the slate is wiped clean once a prisoner is released from prison, but the debt is not paid off."

jeff said...

"Myself, I think a crime followed by a served sentence ought to be regarded as past history. Quaint, isn't it?"

Yes it is. And stupid. There really is no such thing as a ex-pedophile. So yes, I think knowing if one is in your neighborhood is important. I say this rarely, but I fully agree with garage on this.

mdulakthomson said...

Pogo,

Of course the debt is not paid off. I don't think any of us are capable really of paying our debts, whether or not we've been convicted of legal crimes.

I do think, though, that publicly expiating a crime by paying the legal penalty for it ought in some sense to wipe the slate clean. If we think that the current punishment for a crime is too little, then we ought to raise it; but currently we seem to be in a state where we want the security of "lock 'em up and throw away the key" wrt sexual criminals, but aren't quite willing to say that these are crimes deserving of life imprisonment.

So we come up with absurdities like CA's law about where released sex offenders can live, which pretty well precludes their living anywhere.

There's a Chesterton essay somewhere about the difficulties of one thief he knew, who did his sentence, came out, found no work, and was convicted a second time -- for trying to sell flowers from a basket without the necessary license, which he couldn't get because he was a convicted thief. And at this second trial his former conviction was used in evidence against him.

The essay ends with Chesterton quoting I don't know what -- I suppose it was obvious enough to his readers that he didn't have to name the source -- "Beat the man about with a great stick, and then let him go free for ever."

Freeman Hunt said...

Thievery and pedophilia--not so much the same thing...

Pogo said...

"currently we seem to be in a state where we want the security of "lock 'em up and throw away the key" wrt sexual criminals, but aren't quite willing to say that these are crimes deserving of life imprisonment. "

Chesterton's right about a little thievery. Not certain he'd feel the same about a little rape.

I'm not so sure we are unwilling to throw away the key. I don't recall ever being asked to vote on it directly, to be sure. The Democrats who always win in Minnesota are very forgiving, and permit several rapes on women and sexual abuse of children before agreeing that parole and a really stern talking to is needed from the bench.

The lack of hard time for these crimes and the repeated downgrading of sentences yields near-animal-lust for blood amongst the citizens who have been ignored.

mdulakthomson said...

Jeff,

It may be true that there's no such thing as an ex-pedophile, in the same way that there's no such thing as an ex-alcoholic. But I don't believe that it's impossible for people who have committed such a crime to resolve successfully never to do it again.

If you do think it's impossible, then pedophiles are, definitionally, dangerously mentally ill, and ought to be confined until they are cured (which, you seem to say, will be at death). Well, say so.

The sort of registry garage is talking about, though, typically includes all "sex offenders," not just pedophiles. If you think a rapist will always rape again, say that, too. I'm personally much more inclined to think an armed robber will try that again, and yet there are no handy databases to show me where the armed robbers in my community live.

Freeman Hunt said...

And I think plenty of people would be perfectly happy if the law provided that every pedophile had life without possibility of parole. There is no such thing as a clean slate with society after sexually abusing children.

Freeman Hunt said...

You are going to recover from an armed robbery much more easily than you will recover from a forcible rape or sexual abuse in childhood. You are comparing apples to oranges.

Freeman Hunt said...

There is also a qualitative difference between material and sexual crimes. Sexual crimes are worse. If you doubt that, ask people whether they'd rather be forcibly raped or be mugged. I don't think there will be much of a contest.

Pogo said...

Freeman's right. One can never 'repay' the debt owed to the victim and to society from those crimes. They should never be released at all.

here in Minnesota, where everyone gets 2nd and 3rd and 22nd chances, why, the citizens opted for the next best option: chronic surveillance.

jeff said...

"If you do think it's impossible, then pedophiles are, definitionally, dangerously mentally ill, and ought to be confined until they are cured (which, you seem to say, will be at death). Well, say so. "

Thought it was implied, but for the slower out there, I think it's pedophiles are, definitionally, dangerously mentally ill, and ought to be confined until they are cured (which, will be at death)


Of course the difference would be that pretty much any study you look at has the pedophile back in action at close to 100%. What do studies tell you about armed robbers?

"If you think a rapist will always rape again, say that, too."

Ok, I think a rapist will, given the opportunity, rape again. Happy?


"I'm personally much more inclined to think an armed robber will try that again, and yet there are no handy databases to show me where the armed robbers in my community live."

OK with me. Not sure why you would be inclined to think that, since there is no documentation to lead you to think that way, but OK.

mdulakthomson said...

Freeman Hunt,

If life w/o parole is what the crime deserves, let's impose it. If the crime deserves less, but we think it impossible that it won't be repeated if the criminal is free, then let's admit that we're talking about mental illness rather than crime, and treat it as such.

But for heaven's sake let's not treat it as both, congratulating ourselves on our mercy in letting the criminal free and then dogging his steps for the rest of his life with the industry of a maniac's keeper. One or the other.

jeff said...

"congratulating ourselves on our mercy in letting the criminal free and then dogging his steps for the rest of his life with the industry of a maniac's keeper."

Who is it that you see doing this?

mdulakthomson said...

Pogo,

here in Minnesota, where everyone gets 2nd and 3rd and 22nd chances, why, the citizens opted for the next best option: chronic surveillance.

Why can't "the citizens" get their first choice?

Jeff,

There are a lot of people who make a living from armed robbery. For some, it's practically all they know how to do. I would be surprised if a majority didn't resume robbing after release.

Freeman Hunt said...

If life w/o parole is what the crime deserves, let's impose it.

That's perfectly fine with me. I don't know how to be more clear about that. For certain sexual crimes, I would even find the death penalty entirely acceptable.

jeff said...

"There are a lot of people who make a living from armed robbery. For some, it's practically all they know how to do. I would be surprised if a majority didn't resume robbing after release."

Yes. We call them criminals. But your argument is that ALL of them make a living from armed robbery. Or at least 98% or so, which is about the same for pedophiles.

I guess I don't understand your argument then. If you feel that armed robbers will repeat in the same numbers as sexual predators, then shouldn't you be arguing the expansion of the list? Instead you seem to be saying, "If I can't know where the armed robbers are, I don't think its fair to the perverts that I know where they live."

I, on the hand, think there is a huge difference in the two crimes and think the armed robber, after serving his time, may very well go straight and I do not think there is a near certainty that he will succumb and rob someone. Such as one of my kids. Or the neighbors kids. But that's just me.

garage mahal said...

mdulakthomson said...

garage mahal,

Myself, I think a crime followed by a served sentence ought to be regarded as past history. Quaint, isn't it?


if it were just "one time" it would be one thing, and I don't know what it is, but I don't think they can help themselves. It's chronic. They are a menace.

Pogo said...

"Why can't "the citizens" get their first choice?" Because the country is run by weak-kneed liberals, that's why.

Minnesota's been that way for 70 years. Judges go easy, then there are a few high profile rapes, sentences are tightened, and judges ignore them.

New judges? From what pool? The MN Democratic lawyer association?
Ha.

Jeremy said...

mdulak-
I was under the impression that convictions and sentencing were a matter of public record. I imagine it wouldn't take a gaggle of Google programmers to mine that data and cross-reference telephone directories and other public records to connect convicted felons with their approximately current addresses. It's almost surprsing no one has done it yet.

mdulakthomson said...

Jeff,

I'll try to be clearer. If we are going to assume that sexual offenders will re-offend, then we are treating them not as free agents but as mentally ill. We ought therefore to treat them as mental patients rather than criminals.

If, on the other hand, we feel they ought to be treated as criminals -- that is, as people who could have, and ought to have, done otherwise than they did -- then we have no business specially supervising them as though they were mental patients.

I would be happy to see the list expanded -- if it were expanded to include everyone convicted of a criminal offense, and not otherwise. But you won't see that happen, because likely your block is packed with people with the odd bit of domestic violence or drug possession or tax evasion in their background, and they would much rather you concentrate your attention on the pervs. All these people vote.

Freeman Hunt said...

Uh, I think most of us are a lot more concerned with the pervs.

Tax evasion, drug possession, even domestic violence hardly pose the same risks to one's neighbors as sexual predation.

mdulakthomson said...

Jeremy,

You're right: Convictions and sentencing are public record, and one could make a decent database of the current addresses &c. of the convicted from public records. The difference is that for sexual offenders the information is compiled -- by law -- by the state gov't and made easily accessible to everyone.

I suppose I ought to have said this before, but I don't know anyone convicted of any sexual offense, and have not been the victim of one myself. Mugging, burglary, and malicious vandalism, sure.

jeff said...

"I'll try to be clearer. If we are going to assume that sexual offenders will re-offend, then we are treating them not as free agents but as mentally ill. We ought therefore to treat them as mental patients rather than criminals."

And let me be clear. OK WITH ME. You let me know how it works out getting the law changed to locking people in mental hospitals for the rest of their life, rather than trying to keep tabs on them on the outside. Personally, since I think the odds are next to zero, I want to keep tabs on them.

"and they would much rather you concentrate your attention on the pervs."
Quite frankly I don't give a damn what these mythical people think. I want to know if the pervert is in my neighborhood because he WILL molest again. And oddly enough I would disagree with someone who told me I cant know who and where they are because it isn't fair that some guy that stole a stereo out of a car 35 years ago isn't held to the same standard.

Now if these other criminals had a nearly 100% re offending rate which is the whole point of the list, then your argument would hold water.
And I wouldn't be so sure that they vote, either.

jeff said...

"but I don't know anyone convicted of any sexual offense, and have not been the victim of one myself. Mugging, burglary, and malicious vandalism, sure."

huh. I myself have never been murdered. Guess we can dispose of that law.

mdulakthomson said...

Freeman Hunt,

Tax evasion, drug possession, even domestic violence hardly pose the same risks to one's neighbors as sexual predation.

Fine. What about burglary, robbery, carjacking? Vandalism? Fraud of the sort that relies on the credulity of vulnerable people and is mostly subsumed today under "elder abuse"?

Not enough? Why not assault [of the non-domestic-violence sort, since that doesn't seem to rate], manslaughter, murder?

But why let me (or you) decide, anyway? Let's make all this information easily accessible. Or, failing that, none of it.

mdulakthomson said...

Jeff,

huh. I myself have never been murdered. Guess we can dispose of that law.

I was hoping to forestall anyone arguing that I must have a close friend or relative subject to this sort of reporting law. I don't.

jeff said...

"But why let me (or you) decide, anyway? Let's make all this information easily accessible. Or, failing that, none of it."

"Sorry about your little boy, but we couldn't get the legislation passed to keep tabs on everyone who ever committed any crime for the rest of their lives, so we didn't think it fair that the pedophile has to bear the burden alone. Sorry about that."

Cause nothing burns my ass more than having someone steal my car stereo and then find out some guy living 3 blocks over did a month in county for stealing a stereo 25 years ago when he was 16.

jeff said...

"I was hoping to forestall anyone arguing that I must have a close friend or relative subject to this sort of reporting law. I don't."

Pretty sure that isn't something that one would admit or volunteer. Another reason for the list.

Pogo said...

"If we are going to assume that sexual offenders will re-offend, then we are treating them not as free agents but as mentally ill. We ought therefore to treat them as mental patients rather than criminals."
False dichotomy.
They're sick assholes who should be treated as criminals.

Narcissists and other personality disorders in prison are just gussied-up names for 'assholes that got caught'.

The 'mental illness' phrase is a false diversion. Being a sociopath is listed as a disorder, but it ain't cured except at the end of a long rope.

Pogo said...

Not treating them as free agents?
Sure we are.
Here's the deal, Mr. Free Agent: rape someone or sexually abuse a kid, and you die. Your choice.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I like big, round, soft balls in my mouth.

Really

Pogo said...

Criminey. Fake Dust Bunny Queen again.

Must be Michael in drag. Again.

Freeman Hunt said...

Am I supposed to be opposed to the idea of adding a registry of violent criminals? Why would I be? Perfectly fine with me if we have a perv registry and a violent person registry.

MadisonMan said...

So what do you do when you find that you're living near a sex offender? Picket their house? Keep your children from visiting? (Why were they visiting in the first place, I might ask?) Tell everyone about it?

If a parent is alert, then won't they know where their kids are, and therefore know what's possibly up? A non-alert parent: will they be checking such a registry and acting on it? I don't know. My understanding is that the large fraction of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members. How useful is a list in preventing something like that?

I am unlikely ever to check such a list. About some things, I prefer to remain ignorant, and the sexual proclivities of my neighbors is one of them. Now, if they are doing something illegal -- and existing as a convicted sexual offender is not illegal -- then I want to know about it. A far more useful tactic is, I think, to give your kids the power to know what should and should not be done, and to give them permission to be rude when they feel uncomfortable. I don't want them worrying that everyone out there might do them harm, because the odds are that it won't happen -- not from a stranger. I am the chief worrier in my family, and it's never done me much good.

Freeman Hunt said...

MM, it does make a difference.

I check the registry for our area. There was a man living two streets over who was convicted of breaking into the homes of two different women (strangers), holding pillows over their faces, and raping them. I changed my walking route to skip this house. (No reason to give this guy an opportunity to notice you. Figured it better that he didn't even know I existed.)

Same with kids. Say you find out that some perv lives near you. You tell your kids that they are not allowed in that area, they are not to speak to that person, and if that person tries to speak to them, they should come and tell you immediately.