MONTGOMERY, Ala. --If an Alabama lawmaker gets his way, part of the punishment for people who commit sex crimes against children will be castration.
Rep. Steve Hurst introduced the bill last week. In it, he proposes that anyone who is over the age of 21 and has been convicted of sex crimes against anyone 12 years of age or younger would be surgically castrated before leaving prison.
Under the bill, the procedure would be paid for by the adult offender.
"They have marked this child for life, and the punishment should fit the crime," Hurst said.
Hurst said this wasn't his first time introducing the bill.
"I had people call me in the past when I introduced it, and people have called me and said, 'Don't you think this is inhuman?' I asked them, 'What's more inhuman, when you take a little infant child and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away and they have to go through all the things they have to go through? If you want to talk about inhuman, that's inhuman,'" he said.
Hurst said he is hoping the law would make sex offenders think twice.
"If we do something of this nature, it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers," he said.
Alabama residents appear to have mixed emotions about it.
"Somebody that wants to mess with a little girl or little boy that age should be castrated, and they should not be able to mess with any other kids," Keith Dison said.
"I understand prison and going to prison for a long time for some kind of crime like that, but to physically mutilate someone, that's a little out there, it's crazy," said Jessica George.
The bill will have to pass the judiciary committee before it's heard by the Alabama House and Senate.