Criminal Justice

VID: The Marshall Project's Bill Keller on Criminal Justice Reform


"The Future of Criminal Justice Journalism?: The Marshall Project's Bill Keller," interview by Nick Gillespie and produced by Anthony L. Fisher. About 10 minutes. Original release date was January 9, 2015 and original writeup is below.

"Anyone who tells you [they know] what the future of journalism is is blowing smoke," says Bill Keller, the Editor-in-Chief of the new journalistic venture devoted to criminal justice reform, The Marshall Project.

Keller, formerly of the New York Times where over the years he worked as a foreign correspondent, columnist, and Executive Editor, left the Times in early 2014 to head the non-profit news organization that seeks to bring attention to the nation's broken criminal justice system.

In an interview at The Marshall Project's New York offices, Keller spoke with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie about the value of bringing vital information to the public that many news organizations won't cover, his 2013 online debate with Glenn Greenwald on journalism, and why he left his comfortable perch at the Times to run a tenuously-funded startup. 

About 10 minutes, 45 seconds. 

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Camera by Jim Epstein and Fisher. 

Music: "HEY, DOOBIE" by Jared C. Balogh (

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  1. This guy wants to put a lot of people out of work!

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  3. We will never reform our criminal justice system until we reform our laws. The biggest problem with our criminal justice system is that it is too big and it is completely overwhelmed. You can’t treat people in prison humanely or even think about dealing with really hard problems like what to do with mentally ill criminals, if your system is completely overwhelmed with cases and defendants.

    We will never fix the criminal justice system in this country until the country until the country figures out that there are only so many things you can criminalize consistent with a functioning justice system. We have too many laws and too many criminals. Clearly, the drug laws are the lion’s share of it, but there is more than that. Everything from car insurance mandates, parking tickets, draconian traffic laws, to zoning laws and a million other things put people afoul of the law into the justice system who wouldn’t otherwise be there. As long as the country insists of criminalizing every behavior they don’t like, our criminal justice system is going to be nothing but a nightmarish section of hell on earth. Unless this guy is committed to doing that, he is either pissing in the wind.

    1. We arrogantly believe we can solve any problem with government force. We refuse to admit we can’t do this no matter how many decades it fails. Its amazing to me bow many people will admit to me that the war on drugs has been an absolute faikure and yet at the same time act like I am insane for wanting to end it. They are that brainwashed. Its like asking people to root for their rival. They just can’t fathom any other solution to a problem other than government force.

      1. We actually did see the error of our ways with alcohol prohibition but back then of course all the big city polititions and movers and shakers lived in the city to the black market violence was on their doorstep. Plus that was most of their drug of choice anyways.

        1. The ONLY reason prohibition was repealed is because enough people wanted it repealed. It wasn’t a moral or philosophical issue, folks simply wanted to get drunk and told the government to fuck itself!

          The reason drug prohibition has lasted as long as it has, is the government did a good(?) job lying to the population about the effects of drug use. Most, bought into it. Now we are seeing a slow reversal due to, I think, the realization that waging such a losing battle costs us significantly more than is gained, rather than the population wanting to run out and get stoned.

      2. Its amazing to me bow many people will admit to me that the war on drugs has been an absolute faikure and yet at the same time act like I am insane for wanting to end it.

        It’s just like the wars. In their eyes, the reason they were failures is because we didn’t throw enough resources at it, not that we did all the wrong things to begin with.

        DOUBLE DOWN!!!!!!111tneplusone11

        1. Yeap. That’s that arrogance. If force doesn’t work, apply more force.

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