In the state of Alabama, certain types of sex offenders like pedophiles will now be chemically castrated by law before they are given parole. The legislation was signed into law by Alabama’s governor Kay Ivey, and will apply to all sex offenders who are convicted of crimes against children younger than 13.
For these offenders, chemicals will be used that will reduce their libido, and hopefully the likelihood of them repeating their crimes. Critics of the bill said that it was unconstitutional, claiming that it violates a person’s right to freedom from “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Attorney Raymond Johnson says the point of contention is the fact that this is happening once people have already paid their debt to society.
They’re going to challenge it under the 8th Amendment Constitution. They’re going to claim that it is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has served their time and for the rest of their life have to be castrated, Johnson said.
The bill was initially introduced by Republican congressman Steve Hurst, who recently told CBS42 that the punishment fits the crime.
I had people call me in the past when I introduced it and said don’t you think this is inhumane? I asked them what’s more inhumane than when you take a little infant child, and you sexually molest that infant child when the child cannot defend themselves or get away, and they have to go through all the things they have to go through. If you want to talk about inhumane – that’s inhumane. If we do something of this nature it would deter something like this happening again in Alabama and maybe reduce the numbers, Hurst said.
This is a practice that is actually not legal throughout most of the United States. There are only 8 states that currently allow chemical or surgical castration for extreme sex offenders, but even in these states, it is rarely ever actually used. Under Alabama’s new laws, this would be happening to every prisoner that fit the criteria, by law.
In 1996, California became the first state to pass a law allowing for chemical castration of certain sex offenders. In the years that followed, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, and Washington also passed similar laws.
However, as previously mentioned, the guidelines in most of these states are very loose, and this type of measure is rarely enforced, even in cases of crimes against children.
Chemical castration is an extreme measure for a modern industrialized society, but there are some cases where it could be plausible, according to experts. Earlier this week, we reported on the story of a disturbed man from the United Kingdom who avoided jail time after his third time getting caught with large stashes of child abuse images and videos.
The 36-year-old man was arrested with over a million illegal files on his home devices, which depicted graphic scenes of child sexual abuse. For over a decade, this man has been in and out of courthouses, repeating the same crimes over and over again.
This case is slightly different because the suspect only had images and videos, and because there was not a specific underage victim involved.
However, the drive to repeat the same crime over and over again is very similar among these types of predators. In cases where a predator has many underage victims and repeated offenses, a punishment like this is not unreasonable.
Alabama’s governor Kay Ivey has been in the national media spotlight for past several months, due to another piece of controversial legislation in the state. This May, Kay Ivey found herself at the center of a national debate on abortion, after signing one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
The legislation, called House Bill 314, “Human Life Protection Act,” bans all abortions in the state except when “abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman. The bill will reclassify abortion as a Class A felony, which will be punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors who carry out the procedure.
However, the 74-year-old governor shocked her constituents this week, by signing a bill that legalized medical marijuana in the state. Kay Ivey has been the governor of Alabama for just two years, since 2017.
Cartel Boss Arrested In Connection With Killing of Mormon Families In Mexico
Roberto González Montes, the alleged leader of the La Línea drug cartel, has been arrested for his involvement in the murder of three Mormon mothers and their six children last year.
Montes is also known as “El32” or “El Mudo,” which means “the mute.”
The arrest took place in the northern province of Chihuahua, according to the local Secretary of State for Public Security, Emilio García Ruiz, who said Montes had already been flown to Mexico City to be charged before a judge.
The horrific killings happened during a turf war between Montes’ La Línea Cartel and the rival Sinaloa Cartel.
Also arrested in the bust were Eulalio Domínguez Alanís and Santiago Casavantes Radovich, who is known as “El Condor.”
The alleged cartel members were arrested by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime Investigation, the Secretary of National Defense, the National Intelligence Center and the navy, according to El Diario.
On the 4th of November 2019, about 70 miles south of the Mexico–United States border, cartel members opened fire on a three-car convoy that was traveling to a wedding. The vehicles in the convoy were carrying residents of the isolated La Mora community, which is predominantly composed of American Mexican “independent Mormons.”
Nine people were killed with some burned alive in a car. The victims included three women and six children, all of whom held dual US–Mexican citizenship.
All of the victims were from rancho La Mora, Sonora, a compound containing 30 to 40 homes on about a thousand acres, and with a full-time population of about 150 people.
The victims descend from settlers who founded Colonia Oaxaca, which is now called “Rancho Oaxaca.” It is part of the historical Mormon colonies founded in the late 19th century, but not affiliated with the official Mormon church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The church issued a statement after the incident expressing its “love, prayers, and sympathies,” but also distanced itself from the group’s style of Mormonism, saying that they are not officially affiliated with the group.
After the incident, Mexican officials said that the family was mistaken for a cartel convoy of vehicles. Earlier in the day, the same location had also been the scene of a shootout between rival cartel gangs. However, other theories were also floated about the family being specifically targeted.
According to the Dallas Morning News’s Alfredo Corchado, targeting of the victims may have been due to activism by certain extended LeBarón family members having “over the years been outspoken in their condemnation of criminal groups that hold sway over a wide swath of northern Mexico”
A member of the extended family, Julian LeBarón, whose brother Benjamin was killed by cartel gunmen in 2009, claims that the attack was targeted. He says that the gunmen knew exactly who they were shooting at because the surviving children claimed that one of the female victims had attempted to identify herself to stop the attack.
It is not exactly clear when the suspects were arrested, or what specific charges they are facing.
Russia Says It Chased US Warship Out Of Disputed Waters With “Ramming Threat”
On Tuesday, Russia’s defense ministry claimed that one of its warships chased a US Navy destroyer out of Russia’s Pacific territorial waters.
The Admiral Vinogradov, an anti-submarine destroyer in Russia’s Pacific Fleet, sent a warning to the US ship and threatened to “use a ramming maneuver to drive the intruder out of its territorial waters,” according to a statement from Russia’s defense ministry.
After the incident, the USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, retreated back into international waters.
The US Navy confirmed the incident in a statement describing the incident as the latest “freedom of navigation operation,” in which the US military challenges boundaries that they deem to be “illegitimate territorial claims.”
The American warship had been operating for several days in the Sea of Japan before the incident, and it was being tracked by the Russian military as it came closer to the contested region.
The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet said in a statement that the USS John S. McCain had “asserted navigational rights” in the area “by challenging Russia’s excessive maritime claims.”
The statement explained that the Soviet Union unjustly claimed territory in 1984, and Russia has continued to maintain that the territory is theirs.
USS John McCain entered Peter the Great Bay off Vladivostok earlier today. #Russia claims this as territorial waters (since 1984), a claim US does not recognize. US Navy periodically conducts challenges like this to assert navigational rights in international waters. pic.twitter.com/c6hjR3AANA
— Steven Pifer (@steven_pifer) November 24, 2020
The statement read:
In 1984, the U.S.S.R declared a system of straight baselines along its coasts, including a straight baseline enclosing Peter the Great Bay as claimed internal waters. This 106-nautical mile (nm) closing line is inconsistent with the rules of international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention to enclose the waters of a bay. By drawing this closing line, the U.S.S.R. attempted to claim more internal waters – and territorial sea farther from shore – than it is entitled to claim under international law. Russia has continued the U.S.S.R. claim. By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are not Russia’s territorial sea and that the United States does not acquiesce in Russia’s claim that Peter the Great is a “historic bay” under international law.
A Russian warship chased a US Navy destroyer from waters in the Sea of Japan on Tuesday, the Kremlin says.
US military officials say the destroyer had been conducting a "freedom of navigation" operation. https://t.co/zEmg4Wu5HK
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 24, 2020
However, it is important to note that this territory has been the same for over 25 years and has only just recently become a problem as tensions continue to escalate between the two superpowers. As the US Navy says later in its statement, these types of problems don’t happen between two countries that are on good terms.
In the past few years, diplomacy between the two countries has deteriorated and has spawned a new cold war. Many of the conflicts to take place between the United States and Russia happen through proxy wars in places like Syria or Libya. In fact, it is these two wars that have largely contributed to the hostility seen between those two nations today.
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) November 24, 2020
Mysterious Monolith Discovered In The Middle Of Utah Desert By Helicopter
Helicopter pilots with Utah’s highway patrol noticed a strange monolith in a remote area in the wilderness as they were counting sheep from above. It is estimated that the structure, which appears to be planted in the ground, stands at roughly 3 meters off the ground, or between 10 and 12 feet.
The monolith seems to be made from some sort of metal. It was so easy to see from the sky because its shiny metal body was a sharp contrast to the red rocks in the area.
Utah’s highway patrol shared images of both the sheep and the monolith on their social media pages.
Large, mysterious monolith discovered in remote Utah desert: https://t.co/Hf9K5KiOAT
I feel like I've seen this movie before. pic.twitter.com/WXVDIo9edn
— Tom Stokes (@tomstokes) November 23, 2020
The helicopter pilot, Bret Hutchings, told local news channel KSLTV, “That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying.”
Hutchings was flying for the Utah department of public safety, which was helping wildlife resource officers count bighorn sheep in the region.
“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” Hutchings said. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like, ‘What?’ And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’”
Hutchings said the object looked like it was placed there intentionally, and doesn’t suspect that it fell from the sky. He believes that it was the work of an artist or prankster, possibly referencing a classic movie.
“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big 2001: A Space Odyssey fan,” Hutchings said.
The strange monolith does have a striking resemblance to a famous scene from the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the famous scene, a group of apes encounters a giant monolith that is in a deserted area that looks eerily familiar to the region in Utah where the real monolith was found this week.
But if it was a prankster, why would they put it in the middle of nowhere?
Once they spotted the monolith from the sky, the team decided to land the helicopter and check it out. Video shared with KSLTV, which can be seen below, shows the team getting up close to the monolith for the first time.
“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it,” Hutchings said.
Authorities have not revealed the exact location of the monolith because they don’t want curiosity seekers going out into the desert and getting hurt. The only thing that is really known about the location is that it is a remote area in southern Utah that is home to many bighorn sheep.
The monolith has been compared to the plank sculptures of artist John McCracken, who lived in New Mexico and New York until his death in 2011.
However, no one knows exactly what it is or where it came from, and there could be other possible reasons, including national security, that would prevent a government agency from revealing the location of this strange monolith.
— Andrew Adams (@AndrewAdamsKSL) November 21, 2020
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