Henryetta state lawmaker gives up fight on repeat sex offenders
Thursday, March 16th 2006, 5:10 AM CST
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A term-limited state senator decides to allow a proposal to castrate repeat sex offenders to die ahead of a legislative deadline.
Henryetta state Senator Frank Shurden says he's deferring to another measure that's already passed the state Senate and calls for the death penalty for repeat child molesters.
Shurden says his plan would've required that certain aggravated circumstances be present and DNA testing be done before a judge could order surgical castration. It also would've allowed sex offenders in prison to submit to chemical castration.
Shurden has changed his strong law-and-order views somewhat, saying too many people are in prison at a high cost to education and other state services.
But he says the nature of sex crimes are such that rehabilitation has not been effective.
Last week, the state Senate voted 40-to-7 for Senator Jay Paul Gumm's bill to allow the death penalty for certain repeat sex offenders.
If that bill passes and is knocked down by the courts, Shurden thinks his castration option will be revived.