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46 Howard L.J. 517 (2002-2003)
When Love Is a Crime: Why the Drug Prosecutions and Punishments of Female Non-Conspirators Cannot Be Justified by Retributive Principles

handle is hein.journals/howlj46 and id is 525 raw text is: NOTE
When Love is a Crime: Why the Drug
Prosecutions and Punishments of Female
Non-Conspirators Cannot Be Justified By
Retributive Principles'
The War on Drugs initiated in the 1980s by American
lawmakers and politicians with the support of law enforcement agen-
cies, the media, and much of middle America has evolved from what
could have originally been deemed a noble attempt at curtailing crimi-
nal behavior into what is now little more than a war against the
poorest and most defenseless members of society.' Through sentenc-
ing guidelines that utilize a mandatory minimum sentencing strategy,
* J.D. Candidate, Howard University School of Law, 2003. I would like to thank
Professor Andrew E. Taslitz for his encouragement and direction and Andrene Plummer for her
attention to detail and her excellent editing skills. I would also like to thank the members of the
Howard Law Journal and the 2002-2003 Executive Board in particular. Finally, and most
importantly, I would like to thank my mother for her endless love and support and my father for
his early and continued commitment to my educational advancement.
1. I refer to these women as non-conspirators because they are often nothing more than
the girlfriends and wives of principal male dealers, and their alleged roles in the conspiracies
often consist of little more than those activities typical of women involved in intimate
relationships (i.e., answering telephones and taking messages for boyfriends, socializing with a
boyfriend's acquaintances, allowing a boyfriend to store his belongings in her home, etc.).
2. See generally Joseph E. Kennedy, Monstrous Offenders and the Search for Solidarity
Through Modern Punishment, 51 HASTINGS L.J. 829, 831-33 (2000) (discussing the unprece-
dented increase in the severity of criminal punishment in the 1980s and 1990s); Andrew E.
Taslitz, The Inadequacies of Civil Society: Law's Complementary Role in Regulating Harmful
CLASS 305, 363 (2001) (explaining that lawmakers and politicians fostered a fear of crime in an
effort to establish campaign platforms and garner political support).
2003 Vol. 46 No. 3

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