- Va. state Sen. Emmett Hanger (Photo: Associated Press)
Virginia state Sen. Emmett Hanger has revised the language of his now-infamous bill requesting that the state consider the possibility of physically castrating sex offenders as a form of post-incarceration treatment.
Reform Sex Offender Laws of Virginia, an advocacy group which sees the state's sex offender registry as a "useless list of names that the public can no longer use to decipher between those who pose a true threat to society and from those who have been arbitrarily swept up in this legislative predator hysteria," reports on the development:
On Tues., Feb. 1, RSOL of Virginia appeared in front of the Senate Education and Health Sub-Committee in order to oppose Hanger's bill, which would examine "the feasibility of the use of physical castration as a treatment option."
"The Senator stated that this year’s bill has received a lot of press, and he believes in the castration portion of the bill," RSOL reports. However, Sen. Hanger went on to say that "if removing it would keep his bill alive, he would do so." According to RSOL, three of four subcommittee members voted to remove the physical castration language from the bill
With the possibility of castration out of the mix, Sen. Hanger's bill now calls for the state to consider "the use of residential housing facilities" in the treatment of sex offenders, "review the offenses that qualify as sexually violent offenses," and " determine whether changes may be made to reduce the cost of treatment and care of sexually violent predators while protecting the safety and welfare of citizens of the Commonwealth." As it stands, the RSOL has put its full support behind the bill, and has "thanked the Senator for removing the castration portion."
Sen. Hanger's office did not return a request for comment.