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Neurointerventions and the LawRegulating Human Mental Capacity$
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Nicole A Vincent, Thomas Nadelhoffer, and Allan McCay

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190651145.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 March 2021

Chemical Castration as Punishment

Chemical Castration as Punishment

(p.293) 13 Chemical Castration as Punishment
Neurointerventions and the Law

Katrina L. Sifferd

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores whether chemical castration can be justified as a form of criminal punishment. The author argues that castration via the drug medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), or some similar drug, does not achieve the punishment aims of retribution, deterrence, or incapacitation, but might serve as punishment in the form of rehabilitative treatment. However, current U.S. chemical castration statutes are too broad to be justified as rehabilitative. The state is warranted in targeting psychological states in criminal defendants for rehabilitative treatment where such states (a) act as a primary cause of a criminal offender’s crime and (b) give rise to extraordinary worries that the offender will recidivate. Current statutes qualify criminal offenders for castration who do not have overwhelming sexual urges or other psychological states causally related to their crime that may be treated with MPA. Thus, even assuming the efficacy of MPA, such statutes are unjustifiable because they apply chemical castration to offenders for whom castration will have no rehabilitative effect.

Keywords:   chemical castration, criminal law, punishment, retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation

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