Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chemical Castration for Rapists

Chemical castration is the use of hormonal medication used to suppress the sexual drive. It is used mainly by countries as a preventive measure or punishment on people who violate their laws on sexual behavior. The term “chemical castration” is a misnomer: It should be more appropriately called “hormonal androgen depletion” or “anti-hormone treatment.” Its effects are completely reversible. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), the drug mandated by the Florida Legislature for use in chemical castrations, is more commonly known as Depo-Provera. In men, the drug reduces the production of the hormone testosterone in the testes and the adrenal glands, and, therefore, reduces the level of testosterone circulating through the bloodstream. As testosterone levels drop, so does the putative sex drive in most men. The physiological effects of Depo-Provera thus include temporary diminution of erections and ejaculations and a reduction in sperm count.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sentencing Multipliers Under the Criminal Punishment Code: Use of Juvenile Priors for the Grand Theft Motor Vehicle Multiplier

There is a lot of misunderstanding about sentencing multipliers under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code, particularly when it comes to the Grand Theft Motor Vehicle multiplier and the use of juvenile priors as predicate offenses.

The Grand Theft Motor Vehicle multiplier is applicable where the primary offense charged is grand theft of a motor vehicle and the defendant's prior record includes three more grand thefts of a motor vehicle. The confusion is usually over whether juvenile priors can be used as predicate offenses, and if so, whether or not there has to have been an adjudication of delinquency. Typical is the following question I received a few days ago from an Assistant State Attorney in the 15th Circuit, reproduced verbatim: