Radley Balko

Nashville

Opinion columnist focusing on civil liberties, the drug war and the criminal justice system

Education: Indiana University, BA in journalism and political science

Radley Balko reports on criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He was previously a senior writer and investigative reporter at the Huffington Post, and a reporter and senior editor for Reason magazine. He is author of the books "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces" and "The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South" (co-authored with Tucker Carrington). His work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Mississippi Supreme Court and two federal appeals courts. He also occasio
Latest from Radley Balko

For those freed after wrongful convictions, gratitude is a lot to ask

There was joy when Adnan Syed's conviction was vacated last week. But being released after losing years to a miscarriage of justice is, at best, bittersweet.

September 30, 2022

Freed after years in prison, Pennsylvania brothers become political fodder

Two Fetterman campaign workers who served decades for a crime they may not have committed are now the targets of GOP attacks.

September 20, 2022

Firing a successful prosecutor is DeSantis’s latest political stunt

Summarily removing an elected Florida prosecutor is just the latest political stunt for this 2024 hopeful.

August 12, 2022

Despite evidence of innocence, officials leave Alabama man on death row

As jurors and former public officials call for a prisoner's release, those with power to free him look away.

July 28, 2022

The courts still haven’t figured out how to reconcile science with law

Science knows certain forensic techniques — such as bite mark analysis — are junk. Why can't judges accept that?

June 21, 2022

Americans deserve to know if ATF will continue ‘stash house stings’

As a prosecutor, Steve Dettelbach oversaw cases where ATF lured people into a fictional robbery plot — then charged them with crimes.

June 9, 2022

In death row case, the Supreme Court says guilt is now beside the point

With last week's ruling, a possibly innocent man is set for execution in Arizona.

June 1, 2022

If Roe falls, more women will be prosecuted for miscarriages

Women, especially poor women, already face legal consequences when authorities blame them for putting pregnancies at risk.

May 26, 2022

Facing union pushback, another Black police chief steps down

Keith Humphrey's resignation in Little Rock is just the latest in an exodus of reform-oriented Black police chiefs across the country.

May 13, 2022

Durham, N.C., refuses to compensate innocent man after 24 years in prison

The city spent millions defending a police officer, then refuses to compensate the man that cop sent to prison.

April 26, 2022