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Poteau Lawmaker Files Chemical Castration Bill

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

A lawmaker from Poteau is hoping a controversial bill will change the way Oklahoma treats sex offenders.

He's hoping to make a new punishment that's being called unconstitutional by civil rights groups. 

The bill is was authored by Rep. Rick West and it is not for the faint of heart. 

West is proposing the state chemically castrate sex offenders after they're released from prison. 

According to the bill's text, it could be used on first time offenders and would be required for second time offenders. 

Similar laws are on the books in states like Florida and California, but those are voluntary punishments that would be used in lieu of jail time. 

Critics of the practice say there's no real science connecting sexual urges and sex crimes so castrating offenders is often seen at a violation of civil rights. 

"We live in the United States of America, and we live in a free society. Even people convicted of crimes have rights. If we're going to resort to punitive measures, we oughta be insuring that the things we're doing are actually working to protect victims," said Allie Shinn of ACLU-Oklahoma.

A similar bill was introduced but it didn't make it out of committee in 2015. 

He did not return News 9's request for a comment about the bill. 

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