Radley Balko

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Radley Balko
Born (1975-04-19) April 19, 1975 (age 47)
Alma materIndiana University Bloomington (B.A.)
SpouseLiliana Segura[1]

Radley Prescott Balko (born April 19, 1975)[2] is an American journalist, author, blogger, and speaker who writes about criminal justice, the drug war, and civil liberties for The Washington Post. Balko has written several books, including The Rise of the Warrior Cop and The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist.

Education and personal life[edit]

Balko earned a B.A. in journalism and political science in 1997 from Indiana University Bloomington.[3]

Balko is an atheist.[4]

Employment and publications[edit]

Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war, and civil liberties for The Washington Post. Previously, he was a senior writer and investigative reporter for The Huffington Post,[5] a senior editor at Reason magazine, and a policy analyst for the Cato Institute, specializing in vice and civil liberties issues. He writes on drug policy, police misconduct, obesity, alcohol, tobacco, and civil liberties. He also writes on trade and globalization issues and more generally on politics and culture. He was also a biweekly columnist for Fox News from 2002 until 2009.[6] His work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Playboy, TIME magazine, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Reason, Worth magazine, Canada's National Post, and the Chicago Tribune. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.[7] He began writing an opinion blog at The Washington Post in January 2014.[8]

Balko's work on "no-knock" drug raids was profiled in The New York Times, and cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent in Hudson v. Michigan. He is credited with breaking and reporting the Cory Maye case; his work on the Maye case was cited by the Mississippi Supreme Court. He has also written extensively about the Ryan Frederick case and the raid on Cheye Calvo's home.[9]

Balko has advocated the abolition of laws criminalizing drunk driving, arguing that the "punishable act should be violating road rules or causing an accident, not the factors that led to those offenses. Singling out alcohol impairment for extra punishment isn't about making the roads safer".[10]

He has expressed his position against the judicial policy of civil asset forfeiture, arguing that it is a "practice contrary to a basic sense of justice and fairness".[11]

Balko has also authored two books on the topic of increasing militarization in police forces:

Other books
  • The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist New York : PublicAffairs, 2018. ISBN 9781610396912, OCLC 965806090


In 2009, Balko's investigative report on expert witness fraud in a Louisiana death penalty case won the Western Publication Association's Maggie Award for reporting.[5]

In 2011, The Week named Balko a finalist for Opinion Columnist of the Year.[5] Also in 2011, the Los Angeles Press Club named Balko Best of Show Journalist of the Year, the judges saying:

Radley Balko is one of those throw-back journalists that understands the power of groundbreaking reporting and how to make a significant impact through his work. Time and time again, his stories cause readers to stop, think, and most significantly, take action.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Best Media Power Couple". Nashville Scene | Nashville, TN. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  2. ^ Grim, Ryan (October 24, 2007). "BlogJam: Trying to avoid the fray". Politico.
  3. ^ "Radley Balko: Media Fellow". Cato Institute.
  4. ^ Balko, Radley (June 24, 2013). "Time's Joe Klein Takes Obligatory, Inaccurate Cheap Shot At Nonbelievers". The Huffington Post.
  5. ^ a b c Balko, Radley. "Radley Balko". The Huffington Post.
  6. ^ "Staff: Radley Balko". Reason Magazine. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  7. ^ Balko, Radley. "Personal Resume". Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  8. ^ Beaujon, Andrew (December 4, 2013). "Radley Balko will join Washington Post". The Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
  9. ^ Balko, Radley (September 20, 2009). "Cheye Calvo in the Washington Post". The Agitator.
  10. ^ Balko, Radley (October 11, 2010). "Abolish Drunk Driving Laws". Reason.
  11. ^ Balko, Radley (June 12, 2019). "Radley Balko: Study shows that civil asset forfeiture doesn't discourage drug use or help police solve crimes". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  12. ^ Balko, Radley (Fall 2017). Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. Independent Institute. ISBN 9781610394574. OCLC 890576194.
  13. ^ Balko, Radley. "Amazon.com radley balko: Books". Amazon. OCLC 444618031. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  14. ^ "53rd Journalism Awards Gala, June 26". Los Angeles Press Club. 2011. Reason Magazine's Radley Balko, who was Print Journalist of the Year (circulation under 50,000) was named Best of Show Journalist of the Year and received $1,000.
  15. ^ Welch, Matt (June 28, 2011). "Radley Balko Named "Journalist of the Year," Reason Wins Three Other First Place Prizes at the Southern California Journalism Awards". Bastiat Institute. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012.

External links[edit]