Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Castration Measure

Originally published by The Associated Press, June 7, 2002


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Frank Keating has vetoed legislation that would have authorized the chemical and surgical castration of serious sex offenders.

Keating called the legislation "reckless and not progressive criminal justice policy." He said it may violate the U.S. Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

"In a modern society, we don't cut off hands to punish someone who steals a loaf of bread," Keating said.

The measure would have allowed judges or juries to order chemical castration for persons convicted of committing first- or second-degree rape or forcible sodomy.

"I'm sure the rapists and pedophiles are very happy with Gov. Keating today," said Sen. Frank Shurden, the bill's author.

Keating also signed a bill requiring defendants convicted a second time of first-degree rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation or sexual abuse of a child to be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Copyright © 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.