Thursday, August 25, 2011

Civil libertarian Balko to speak at Ole Miss

    Mark your calendar folks, Radley Balko is going to be speaking at the Ole Miss law school Tuesday, Oct. 25. Not only do I plan to attend, but I hope to bring the kids.
    From Wikipedia:
    Balko is senior writer and investigative reporter for The Huffington Post. Previously, he was 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 and 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.a 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 blogs at The Agitator, his personal weblog, and for Reason's Hit & Run blog. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.b
    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 the case 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.[citation needed] 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.”

    I am a regular reader of Balko’s blog, The Agitator, and there is a link to it on the left side of my blog page. He has been very active in publicizing the many people in Mississippi who have been jailed due to junk science and what appears to be false testimony of people like former state pathologist Steven Hayne and Hattiesburg dentist Michael West. Read, for example, Balko’s recent Huffington Post article, Leigh Stubbs, Mississippi Woman, Serving 44-Year Sentence Despite Discredited Testimony.
    You have to understand that Balko isn’t busy trying to get people out of jail based on technicalities. He is advocating for people who never would have been convicted but for the use of junk science or false testimony. It is a disgrace, and I for one am glad that he looking out for people like us.
    You don’t want to miss the chance to hear and perhaps meet a true champion for the American people. It does the Ole Miss law school credit that it is hosting his visit.

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