I’m with you on that. The kinds of dumb crooks we’ve been discussing here are clearly not safe to be around kids, and not capable of being safe parents.
The rights of children to be free of abuse, neglect, and endangerment, supersede the rights of convicted criminals to be parents. And there is no inherent right to reproduce, other than a hypothetical “general liberty” right that can be revoked along with other “general liberty” rights that are forfeit by definition when someone is sentenced to prison.
QED, sterilize em. Put it in the criminal statutes that one of the penalties upon conviction is to be removed from any possibility of becoming a parent by any route, and that sterilization will ensue immediately upon exhaustion of appeals if any. That also means no conjugal visits while appeals are pending. Tough shit: if you do the crime, you do the time, and that also means no making babies.
The fact that mandatory sterilizations were abused like mad hell in certain states for obviously racist reasons isn’t sufficient reason to not do it now. Prison itself has also been viciously abused for racist reasons (see also the incarceration rates today) but that’s no reason to do away with prisons.
The same safeguards need to be in place for the entire criminal justice system, to prevent racism and wacko theories such as eugenics getting any traction in the law. With those safeguards in place, the principle of protecting existing and potential children from having dumb crooks as parents can be enacted safely.