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War on Drugs Makes Women the Enemy

If you've been following the story of Cleveland's alleged serial killer Anthony Sowell, you know it's horrific. Eleven female bodies have been found in and around the man's home, leaving the public wondering how could these crimes go on undetected for years. Writing in the Daily Beast, Cleveland journalist Mansfield Frazier says he knows why: Sowell was able to kill drug-addicted women without anyone noticing because the war on drugs targets women. Let's examine the evidence he uses to support this allegation after the jump.

Frazier argues that if the criminal justice system focused more on treating drug-addicted women, instead of making showy but relatively insignificant drug busts, these women might be alive today. He says: "According to the news reports, all of the dead women had, at one time or another, interacted with the criminal justice system as a result of their addictions, but none were successfully treated." He reasons that because the system met these women with punishment instead of treatment, they continued to be addicted, became vulnerable to Sowell, and disappeared without anyone noticing.

While I'm sure there's a lot of blame to be passed around (for example, why didn't the authorities checking in on Sowell, a registered sex offender, investigate the suspicious smell coming from his home?), Frazier makes a good point about how the war on drugs prevented these women from kicking their addictions. Do you agree that the war on drugs is partially to blame for these murders?

Image Source: Getty
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