Bio Pages

Huffington Post Articles

Police Fatality Statistics Show 2012 On Pace To Be Safest Year For Police In 60 YearsHuffington Post, June 2012

Myths and Misconceptions About Indiana’s New Self-Defense LawHuffington Post, June 2012

Pentagon Suspends Program That Gives Military Weapons To CopsHuffington Post, June 2012

Under Asset Forfeiture Law, Wisconsin Cops Confiscate Families’ Bail MoneyHuffington Post, May 2012

Terrance Huff Files Lawsuit Against Illinois Police Officer Michael Reichert Over ‘Trekkie Traffic Stop’Huffington Post, May 2012

Cop Shoots Dog: Untrained Officers Commit ‘Puppycide’ (PHOTOS)Huffington Post, April 2012

Baltimore Woman, 90, Locks Police Officer in Basement, Wins $95,000 SettlementHuffington Post, April 2012

The Unchecked Charging Power of the ProsecutorHuffington Post, April 2012

Illinois State Police Drug Dog Unit Analysis Shows Error Rate Between 28 and 74 PercentHuffington Post, March 2012

Illinois Traffic Stop Of Star Trek Fans Raises Concerns About Drug Searches, Police Dogs, Bad CopsHuffington Post, March 2012

Painkiller Access Debated as Patients SufferHuffington Post, March 2012

Oregon’s Prescription Requirement for Cold Medicine Has Little Effect on Meth: StudyHuffington Post, February 2012

Police ‘Tank’ Purchase Riles New Hampshire TownHuffington Post, February 2012

The New Panic Over Prescription PainkillersHuffington Post, February 2012

The War Over Prescription PainkillersHuffington Post, January 2012

Death In The Devil’s Chair: Florida Man’s Pepper Spray Death Raises Questions About Jail AbuseHuffington Post, January 2012

Generations Against the Death PenaltyHuffington Post, December 2011

School Police Have Uncertain Impact On Student Arrests, Crime PreventionHuffington Post, December 2011

SWAT Raids, Stun Guns, And Pepper Spray: Why The Government Is Ramping Up The Use Of ForceHuffington Post, December 2011

Driven By Drug War Incentives, Cops Target Pot Smokers, Brush Off Victims Of Violent CrimeHuffington Post, November 2011

Hank Skinner, Texas Death Row Inmate, One Week From Execution Despite Untested EvidenceHuffington Post, November 2011

Tech-Savvy Occupy Protesters Use Cellphone Video, Social Networking To Publicize Police AbuseHuffington Post, October 2011

U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House BillHuffington Post, October 2011

Video Shows Controversial Forensic Specialist Michael West Fabricating Bite MarksHuffington Post, September 2011

A Decade After 9/11, Police Departments Are Increasingly MilitarizedHuffington Post, September 2011

Why Americans Still Support The Death PenaltyHuffington Post, September 2011

Steven Hayne, Michael West ‘Expert’ Witness Scandal Could Affect Mississippi Attorney General RaceHuffington Post, August 2011

Jose Guerena’s Family Sues Pima County Over SWAT Raid KillingHuffington Post, August 2011

Leigh Stubbs, Mississippi Woman, Serving 44-Year Sentence Despite Discredited TestimonyHuffington Post, August 2011

After 10 Years In Prison, Cory Maye Comes HomeHuffington Post, July 2011

Grieving Mother Faces 36 Months In Jail For Jaywalking After Son Is Killed By Hit-And-Run DriverHuffington Post, July 2011

Why ‘Caylee’s Law’ Is A Bad IdeaHuffington Post, July 2011

Cory Maye Freed After 10 Years In Prison: The Back StoryHuffington Post, July 2011

Cory Maye’s Open Letter To SupportersHuffington Post, July 2011

Cory Maye To Be Released From PrisonHuffington Post, July 2011

Myths Of The Criminal Justice System: Part 1Huffington Post, June 2011

Myths Of The Criminal Justice System: Part 2Huffington Post, June 2011

Myths Of The Criminal Justice System: Part 3Huffington Post, June 2011

Private Crime Labs Could Prevent Errors, Analyst Bias: Report, Huffington Post, June 2011

Chicago State’s Attorney Lets Bad Cops Slide, Prosecutes Citizens Who Record Them, Huffington Post, June 2011

Jose Guerena Killed: Arizona Cops Shoot Former Marine In Botched Pot Raid, Huffington Post, May 2011

Feature Articles for Reason

Bad Boys, reason, July 2011

— A rogue’s gallery of misbehaving prosecutors, plus three worth praising

Wrongful Convictions, reason, July 2011

 How many innocent Americans are behind bars?

The War on Cameras, reason, January 2011.

— Investigative feature into the rash of arrests of citizens for taking photo and video of on-duty police officers, and the legal issues involved.

The Forfeiture Racket, reason, January 2010.

— An investigation into the still-pervasive and unfair practice of civil asset forfeiture.

When Columbus Discovered Modern Architecture, reason, November 2009.

–How private philanthropy turned a small Midwestern town into an architectural marvel.

Forensics Fraud, reason, May 2009.

–Investigation into the possible manufacture of bite mark evidence by forensic specialists Steven Hayne and Michael West in the murder trial of Jimmie Duncan. Duncan is still on death row. The video I obtained for this article was never shown at his trial. Web version here. Warning: Web version contains some disturbing images and video.

Guilty Before Proven Innocent, reason, May 2008.

— Investigative piece looking at the use of prison informants (or “snitches”) in drug cases, and one particular prison where inmates were trading and selling photos, case information, and grand jury testimony. The story focuses on the Colomb family, a Church Point, Louisiana woman and her three sons wrongly convicted on federal drug drug conspiracy charges thanks to snitch testimony, police harassment, and racism.

No Money, No Justice, reason, December 2007.

— Why we should give more money to public defenders.

CSI: Mississippi, reason, November 2007

— Investigative piece into Dr. Steven Hayne and Mississippi’s corrupt autopsy system. Dr. Hayne’s autopsies and testimony for Mississippi prosecutors may have put dozens of innocent people in prison. Article won second place in the News/Reporting category at the Los Angeles Press Club awards.

The Case of Cory Maye, reason, October 2006.

–Investigative article looking into how an innocent man ended up on Death Row in Mississippi. This article was cited in an opinion by the Mississippi State Supreme Court. It was also a 2006 finalist for a Los Angeles Press Club award in the investigative reporting category. Maye has since been taken off of Death Row, but still faces a sentence of life in prison. Article was finalist in the News/Reporting category for the Los Angeles Press Club awards.

Curb Your Enthusiasms. reason. March 2006.

–What do conservative prude Ben Shapiro and leftist crusader Morgan Spurlock have in common?

Who Killed Paypal? reason, August 2005.

–How politicians and regulators stopped an Internet startup from becoming a global private currency.

Nashville Byline

Welcome to Nashville Byline, Huffington Post, October 2011

The New Sound of Nashville, Huffington Post, October 2011

Songs From My Couch: The Cold StaresHuffington Post, November 2011

The Rembrandt of RhinestoneHuffington Post, December 2011




Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America.

–A Cato Institute White Paper. July 2006.

Back Door to Prohibition: The New War on Social Drinking

— A Cato Institute Policy Analysis. December 2003.



Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers: The DEA’s War on Prescription Painkillers, by Ron Libby.

–A Cato Institute Policy Analysis. June 2005.


Our Militarized Police Departments.

–Testimony on the militarization of America’s police departments before the House Subcommittee on Crime. July 2007.

Bring Back Internet Gambling.

–Testimony before the House Banking Committee. June 2007. Watch video here.


Constitutional Refuseniks: An Interview with Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes reason. April 2011.

–Surprising interview with the often-maligned founder of the government protest organization Oath Keepers.

The House of Death: An Interview with DEA Whistleblower Sandy Gonzalez reason. September 2008.

–Former DEA agent tells of astonishing cover-up of a federal drug informant’s murders.

Is This America’s Best Prosecutor? reason. April 2008.

— An interview with Dallas County, Texas District Attorney Craig Watkins.

30 Years of Failure, reason. March 2008.

— I chat with Ed Burns, co-creator of HBO’s The Wire, about the drug war, education, and the war in Iraq.

Richard Paey Speaks, reason. November 2007.

— An interview with Richard Paey shortly after his pardon from Florida Gov. Crist and subsequent release from prison.

How the Wolves Survive, reason, May 2007.

–Talking immigration, culture, and music with Los Lobos’ Louie Perez.

Select Shorter Articles

The Crime Rate Puzzle, reason, July 2011

— Did incarceration reduce the crime rate, or are there other factors at play?

Leviathan’s Lawyers, reason, June 2011

Historically, the Office of Solicitor General has defended the government. The question is, should it? 

Deroy Murdock, Wikileaks, and the Danziger Bridge, reason, December 2010

Columnist Deroy Murdock joins the ranks in calling for the execution of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.  But as a conservative, shouldn’t he be cheering on those who keep the government in check?

Q: Why Has the ACLU Been Silent About TSA Abuses? A: Because You Haven’t Been Listening, reason, December 2010

— Conservatives have a lot to say about the ACLU’s inaction on TSA abuses. A simple search, however, will give you the facts.

Update in Northern Virginia: Police Agencies Still Secretive, Newspaper Editor Still Okay With That, Plus a Disturbing Police Visit to the Former Residence of a “Reason Institute” Writer, reason, December 2010

— Police agencies in Northern Virginia refuse to release information, the editor of the Sun Gazette watches passively and a policeman makes an alarming visit. 

The Nation Posts a Narrow Apology. And Publishes Another Error, reason, November 2010

— The Nation published an unsubstantiated article linking the Koch Family with anti-TSA backlash. The editor’s apology is about as sincere as the story is credible.

The Statist Media, Ctd…, reason, November 2010

— More data points for my theory that the legacy media aren’t liberal, they’re just authoritarian. 

The Infallible Prosecutor, reason, September 2009.

— The Supreme Court will decide if prosecutors who manufacture evidence to win false convictions should be susceptible to lawsuits.

Don’t Tase Me, Sis, reason, August 2009.

— The problem with reality TV.

Lockerbie and Old Lace, reason, August 2009.

— How a spinster’s murder and bad forensics nearly brought down the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Innocent Man Freed, But Shabby Prosecutor Still Works as Judge, reason, August 2009.

— The case of Bernard Baran, wrongly imprisoned for 25 years due to prosecutorial misconduct. Baran was finally released, but the prosecutor still serve as a judge in Massachusetts.

The Coroners Revolt, reason, August 2009.

— More reporting from Mississippi, as the state’s coroners hatch a plan to bring back disgraced medical examiner Steven Hayne.

Dogs in a Deadly Crossfire, The Daily Beast, July 2009

— Cops keep killing the family pet. Why don’t they get training in how to deal with canines?

The El Paso Miracle, reason, July 2009.

— Defying both left and right cliches, this city of illegal immigrants and lax gun laws is the second safest large city in America, and has almost no murder at all.

The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years, reason, June 2009.

— Surveying Time’s history of hysteria, moral panic, and scaremongering.

A Forensics Charlatan Gets Caught in the Act, reason, May 2009.

— Bite mark specialist Michael West gets tricked by a defense attorney in a sting that proves he’s a fraud. Article includes video of the sting.

In Criminal Cases, Should Science Only Serve the State?, reason, March 2009.

— Minnesota medical examiner threatened by prosecutor for testifying for criminal defendants in other jurisdictions.

Why Did Obama Wimp Out on DNA Testing for Convicts?, The Daily Beast, March 2009.

— Obama administration supports Bush brief denying a right to DNA testing that could prove innocence.

How to Bring Real Science Into the Courtroom, reason, February 2009.

— A National Academy of Sciences study says America’s criminal courts are tainted by bad forensics.

What Michael Phelps Should Have Said, reason, February 2009.

— What the Olympic star should have told the country after he was photographed smoking marijuana.

Eroding the Exclusionary Rule, reason, January 2009.

— What the Supreme Court got wrong in Herring v. United States.

The Drug War’s Collateral Damage, Culture 11, January 2009.

— A survey of the unintended consequences of drug prohibition. Part of a debate at Culture 11.

The Prosecution of Julie Amero, reason, December 2008.

— Technically hapless police and prosecutors try to convict a Connecticut substitute teacher of showing porn to her students.

Obama’s Bad Crime Policy, Slate, October 2008

— Barack Obama’s plan for more federal funding for cops is bad news.

Cops Employing Robbers, reason, September 2008

— Possible police misconduct in the case of Ryan Frederick, accused of killing a cop during a botched drug raid.

C.S. Oy, Slate, August 2008

–How to ensure better forensic evidence in the criminal justice system.  Written with Roger Koppl.

Chicago, City of Broad Strictures, June 2008, Chicago Tribune.

How did the hardscrabble Windy City turn into the most paternalistic town in America?

Better Dead Than High, February 2008.

— The morally dubious logic of drug warriors.

The Bite-Marks Men, Slate. February 2008.

— More on Mississippi’s disastrous forensics system.

Three Vetoes, and reason. November 2007.

— Gov. Schwarzenegger’s regrettable veto of three sensible criminal justice reforms.

Death Investigation Deficiencies, Jackson Clarion-Ledger, October 2007.

— Another op-ed on Mississippi medical examiner Dr. Steven Hayne.

CSI: Mississippi, Wall Street Journal, October 2007.

— An op-ed summarizing my investigation into Dr. Steven Hayne and Mississippi’s deficient medical examiner system.

Sex, Drugs, and a Federal Prosecution,, August 2007.

–The federal government’s relentless persecution of Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer.

Indeed, and Without a Doubt,, July 2007.

–The strange tale of Dr. Michael West, a Mississippi dentist who may be sending innocent people to prison.

Blinded by the Law, Chicago Tribune, June 2007.

–The Genarlow Wilson case: What’s “legal” and what’s “just” aren’t always one and the same.

Politicians’ Hubris Takes to the Open Road,, May 2007.

–Why do political leaders think they don’t need to obey traffic laws?

A Good Start, a Long Way To Go, Reason, January 2007.

–How to get real reform in Atlanta after the SWAT shooting of Kathryn Johnston.

Never Closed, Reason, December 2006.

–How one bar stayed open through Hurricane Katrina, and helped French Quarter residents get through the flooding.

Botched Raids Not Rare, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 2006.

–A review of my work on SWAT abuses for the Atlanta paper, shortly after the botched raid shooting death of 88-year-old Kathryn Johnston.

Unreasonable Searches and Seizures, Playboy, November 2006.

–Another article on SWAT abuses, this one for Playboy.

Drug War Casualties Left Behind, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 2006.

–An overview and update on the Cory Maye case (see above).

Wrong Door, The Wall Street Journal, November 2006.

–How New York City reneged on its promise to reign in abuse of no-knock raids. Co-written with civil rights attorney Joel Berger.

Raiding Reality. National Review Online. June 2006.

— Congress up in arms about an FBI raid on one of their own. Not so concerned about continued paramilitary raids on their constituents.

No SWAT: The Most Important Supreme Court Case You’ve Never Heard Of, Slate. April 2006.

— My explanation of what was at stake in the Hudson v. Michigan case. The above article was cited by Justice Breyer in his opinion in that case. Unfortunately, Breyer wrote the dissent.

Anti-Gambling Crusade a Bad Bet. Arizona Republic. March 2006.

— Why GOP efforts to ban online gambling miss the mark. Written for anti-gambling activist Sen. John Kyl’s home newspaper.

Overkill: The Latest Trend in Policing. Washington Post. February 2006.

–Piece on the overuse of SWAT teams in the Washington Post, written shortly after the death of Sal Culosi (see above).


Living Large. Worth. November 2005.

— Another skeptical look at the “obesity crisis.”


Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense. Washington Post. August 2005.

— Protesting the arrest and imprisonment of parents who take a reality-based approach to underage drinking.

Health Riskers Ought to Pay. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. May 2005.

–Counterpoint to an AJC editorial. Health insurers should be free to charge higher premiums to people who present higher risk.

Another Victim of the Drug War. The Freeman. May 2005.

-Profile of Dr. Frank Fisher, a pain specialist railroaded by overzealous prosecutors.

In the Reign of Cotton Mather. Forbes. May 2005.

–The Nanny State creeps ever onward.

Bush Should Feel Doctors’ Pain. Cato Daily Commentary. April 2005.

–Calling off the DEA’s war against pain physicians.

Drivers’ Rights Abused in a Flash. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 2005.

–Counterpoint to the AJC editorial board’s defense of traffic enforcement cameras.

Altruism? Bah, Humbug, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily. December 2004.

–Defending the profit motive to Hong Kong. Translated into Cantonese.


Puffing for Property Rights, Washington Post. June 2004.

–What the smoking-ban issue is really all about.

Government Has No Business Interfering With What You Eat, Time. June 2004.

–Time gave me 350 words to rebut an entire issue on how the government needs to get involvement in the obesity “crisis.”

No Friends of Bill Wilson, National Review Online. May 2004.

–How anti-alcohol fanaticism denied a dying man relief.

Hike in Cigarette Taxes Brings Other Vices. The Chicago Sun Times. April 2004.

–How sin taxes spawn black markets.

Anti-Alcohol Fanatics Set Their Sights on Your Beer, Chicago Sun-times. December 2003.

–A primer on the neo-prohibition movement.

No Guardrails? May 2003.

–The hypocritical conservatives coming to William Bennett’s aid.

Targeting the Social Drinker Is Just MADD, Los Angeles Times. December 2002.

–Mothers Against Drunk Driving outlives its mission.

Paycheck Withholding: A Con on Taxpayers. August 2002.

–Happy Birthday to a sixty-year government con job.