Week5 issues incriminal justice discussion

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Punishment

This week’s discussion will continue in the area of punishment, and will look at two very controversial topics:

First, consider the idea of conjugal visits for prisoners. Some states allow inmates private visitation time with their spouses.

Imagine that you are the warden of a prison that, at present, does not allow conjugal visits for prisoners. You are considering adopting this procedure.

  • What data would you need to gather in order to make an informed decision? After looking at the research, what would you decide? Explain your reasoning.
  • Explain what possible opposition could you face, and whether these programs have disadvantages.

Next, consider the case of Dean Claude Odermatt. His conviction for sexual battery on a child carried with it a sentence that includes 25 years in prison and chemical castration upon his release.

  • Is chemical castration an effective sentence for sex offenders such as Odermatt? Only a small number of states allow chemical or surgical castration as punishment. Do you support laws like this?

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© 2007 South University

Florida Man Sentenced To Chemical Castration

By Rhonda Erskine,
14 February, 2007

ST. AUGUSTINE: A St. Augustine,
Florida man has been sentenced to
chemical castration on top of a 25
year prison sentence. 60-year-old
Dean Claude Odermatt pleaded no
contest to having sexual activity with
a child.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen as
far as someone behaving toward a
juvenile or minors,” Assistant State
Attorney Carlos Mendoza said.

So the child would not have to testify
or face Odermatt in court, the
attorneys in the case made a deal.

Odermatt would face 25 years in
prison instead of the mandatory life
sentence that comes with the
charge.

The chemical castration penalty was
up to the judge to decide, and Circuit
Judge Wendy Berger did just that.

Mendoza and the State Attorney’s
office pushed for the chemical
castration penalty because of
Odermatt’s alleged history of sexual
crimes, especially with children.

“In protecting those citizens, we have
a responsibility to do things that
aren’t popular and aren’t pleasant,”
Mendoza said.

“This guy rapes and sodomizes little
kids and has done it for 30 years, so
anything we can do to keep him from
doing it in the future, we will have to
do.”

In the penalty phase, the judge heard
testimony from people who
described Odermatt’s sexual
assaults.

There were allegations of raping a
five year old, showing pornography
to children, molesting children, and
even bestiality.

A 1997 Florida state statute allows
chemical castration.

“If you’ve been convicted of a sexual
battery and then you’re convicted
again the second time, chemical
castration per the statute is
mandatory,” Mendoza said. “And for
first time rapists or sexual batterers,
it’s up to the court’s discretion.”

According to the statute, Odermatt
will receive castration injections 90
days before he’s released from
prison. By that time he will be 85-
years-old.

Odermatt’s attorney said his client
has not mentioned appealing the
ruling.

Source: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=52642

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