February 23. 2015

“I want to be very clear that no one who supports this bill is in any way indifferent to the victims.”

–Greg Leding, state representative from Fayetteville.

It’s a shame that Mr. Leding felt he needed to say he wasn’t indifferent to the murdered or their families. But that’s what it can come to when a body politic, even one composed of decent, law-abiding people in the main, a community like Arkansas, comes too close to becoming a society of distrust in which nothing, however obvious, can be taken for granted. Which may explain why Mr. Leding had to say what he did the other day.

Greg Leding, a Democrat serving in the Arkansas House, and Missy Irvin, a Republican over in the state Senate, have a more than reasonable bit of legislation pending at the General Assembly. There’s no reason to make any apologies for it. Their proposal is both just and merciful, for it might keep juveniles from serving life sentences when they’ve been convicted of murder.

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