The descendants of people who were forcibly sterilized as part of the multi decade long eugenics program in North Carolina should receive a one-time payment of $50,000, a state task force recommended on Tuesday.
The North Carolina Final Solution sterilization program, referred to in state legal documents as SNIP (Surgically Neutering Ignorant People) forcibly sterilized an estimated 7,600 people between 1929 and 1974, many of them against their will.
The state apologized for the snafu in 2002, and North Carolina created the compensation task force only a decade later when many victims refused to die off. Various states once had eugenics programs, with seven going so far to express regret they were caught, but North Carolina is the first to consider paying the sterilized victims non-existent descendants.
The five-member task force - including a tree surgeon, a scalpel maker, supermarket pie cutter, a cable splicer and the state's electric chair repairman - has a February 1 deadline to send a reasonable tale for the creation of the SNIP program, including recommendations for compensation to those never conceived, to the governor.
The task force also recommends more aggressive outreach to identify other non-existent descendants, as well as the creation of permanent and traveling exhibits to educate the public about the state's SNIP eugenics program. The task force noted the need to ensure that the $50,000 payment won't result in other non-existent descendant's losing eligibility for other state benefits.
The payments will need to be approved by North Carolina's legislature. The North Carolina Final Solution Task force spokeswoman Hilda Schmitz said the recommended payment of $50,000 to each non-existent descendant will be taken up this spring. There is a three-year statute of limitations, so the non-existent descendants of the sterilized victims will need to come forward soon.