Tennessee State Representative Files Proposal to Chemically Castrate Sex Offenders Who Victimized Children Under 13

The Tennessee state legislature will soon vote on a measure introduced by Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) which would require sex offenders convicted of molesting children under the age of 13 to undergo chemical castration in order to meet eligibility for parole.

"The person may elect to stop receiving the treatment at any time and shall not be forced to receive the treatment; however, such refusal constitutes a violation of the person's parole and the person shall be immediately remanded to the custody of the department of correction for the remainder of the person's sentence," reads the bill, which was introduced Thursday.

It adds that, "A person may not be denied parole based solely on the person's inability to pay for the costs associated with the treatment."

The bill defines the "treatment" as any drug which "reduces, inhibits or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person's body."

A medical professional will be required to explain the effects of chemical castration to any inmate who agrees to the procedure before treatment would begin.

California, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin all have physical or chemical castration laws on the books which affect some sex offenders. A similar Alabama law ran afoul of the American Civil Liberties Union, which declared that it was a possible violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The law, should it pass, would go into effect in July 2020.

Injections
A Tennessee lawmaker has proposed chemical castration for any sex offender who molested a child under the age of thirteen as a requirement for parole. MarianVejcik/Getty

Griffey has thus far proposed introduce 13 bills into law during his time as a representative. Among them, a bill banning refugee resettlement in Tennessee and another which would make it illegal for landlords to rent to undocumented immigrants. Griffey stated at the time that he wanted to "make Tennessee be the very last place that illegal aliens want to come"

Also proposed by Rep. Griffey—a bathroom bill requiring students to use whichever bathroom aligns with their birth sex, drug testing for welfare recipients, and a bill introduced a week ago which would require student athletes in the state to compete under their birth sexes.

They have all thus far failed to become state law.

Griffey encountered a bit of controversy last spring after he allegedly used his political power to try to secure a chancery court vacancy for his wife, Rebecca. When his wife was not selected, one of the appointees, Jennifer King, quit her position nine days after accepting it, saying Griffey and his wife had undermined her candidacy and chances for reelection in 2020 with under the table, behind-closed doors campaign tactics.