Drug War

Reasons to Support Reason's Webathon, Criminal Injustice Edition


As Nick Gillespie mentioned this morning, we are on Day One of our annual week-long webathon, in which we are asking you to be one of at least 500 people donating to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that makes all Reason-branded activities possible. Like every magazine of political opinion, Reason does not make enough money through subscriptions and advertising alone to pay its bills. But we think we offer some value propositions you cannot get elsewhere. For instance, our decades-long coverage of criminal justice issues.

Here's what the National Magazine Award-winning writer Jonathan Rauch said about the special issue to your right:

Hats off to Reason for its July special issue on criminal (in)justice. Strong journalism examining, among other things, the unaccountable "culture of misconduct" among gung-ho prosecutors (names are named); and the prevalence of wrongful convictions; an immigration detention system "that treats treats suspected illegal aliens like criminals, but with fewer rights." Special kudos to Jacob Sullum for a compelling and, in today's climate, brave takedown of politically sacred sex-offender laws.

I read the whole magazine with mounting admiration. Every article is solid and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, on a subject about which Americans are too complacent. This kind of enterprise is why God invented magazines.


Regular readers of this website know that the July issue was no one-off. Reason is where you learned about the war on cameras and the asset forfeiture racket (in which your property can be considered guilty even if you're never charged with a crime), and it's where you watched unspeakable outrage after outrage after outrage.

The news isn't all grim, thankfully. In September of this year, Cory Maye, who had spent several years of his life on death row, was released from prison after a series of events that began with former Reasoner Radley Balko's great coverage of Maye's case. For his Reason work covering criminal justice, Balko was named in 2011 by the Los Angeles Press Club as Journalist of the Year for all of Southern California.

At Reason, we don't just cover criminal justice, we live it—as when Reason.tv producer Jim Epstein was arrested for filming a Washington, D.C., public meeting. We testify to Congress on criminal justice reform, and we use our growing perch in the broadcast media to make the principled case for freedom over needless incarceration. And the crew over at Reason.tv continues to make stellar documentaries about individual acts of injustice:

Go to our "Criminal Justice" topic page and just start scrolling down, then ask yourself what other magazine is as committed to covering the contested space between citizen rights and government guns. Then go to reason.com/donate, and help us keep doing this important work.