Abstract

FLORIDA'S 1997 CHEMICAL CASTRATION LAW: A RETURN TO THE DARK AGES

LARRY HELM SPALDING

Copyright 1998 Florida State University Law Review

This Article explores whether mandatory chemical castration is a medically acceptable and constitutionally permissible alternative to incarceration for sex offenders in Florida. Part II discusses the history of chemical castration in the United States. Part III addresses the medical, legal, and ethical issues the new statute raises and discusses the physical effectiveness of chemical castration on sex offenders. Part IV examines whether the new statute violates several constitutional rights of the sentenced sex offender, namely the right to refuse non-consensual medical treatment, the right to privacy, the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, the right to due process and equal protection, and the protection against double jeopardy. Parts V and VI establish that civil libertarians will accept a probation program that provides voluntary drug treatment for sex offenders if the goal of the program is to treat, and not to punish, the sex offender.

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