French government dicusses new law allowing castration of sex offenders

France's interior and justice ministers have proposed chemically castrating some sex offenders after they are released from prison to stop them reoffending.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy pitched the idea Tuesday, amid national horror over the case of a man convicted of raping 15 women and who was rearrested last week, accused of three more rapes, the AP reports.

In mid-October parliament begins examining a bill aimed at toughening measures against repeat offenders, though Sarkozy did not specify if his proposal would be included in the draft law.

Clement, however, said Tuesday he had introduced a clause that would make it mandatory for sexual recidivists to wear electronic bracelets on their ankles retroactive to before 1998. An existing law passed in 1998 allows for retention of DNA samples among other measures for tracking sex offenders _ but it applies only to those convicted after the law took effect. Clement insisted that making all sex offenders wear the bracelets offered the best protection, even if only a small percentage will strike again.

He defended the proposal Wednesday against accusations from the French Magistrates Union and others that the proposal would be unconstitutional. Socialist Party spokesman Julien Dray called it "detestable." AM

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