LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Legislative Council today passed a resolution expressing "profound regret" for Arkansas' role in slavery. The measure follows the lead of other Southern states that have issued similar apologies.
The Legislative Council approved an interim resolution asking forgiveness for the "wrongs inflicted by slavery and its after-effects."
The non-binding resolution's approval does not require the signature of Governor Mike Beebe.
Legislators meeting this year did not discuss an apology for slavery. Unless called into a special session, the General Assembly is not set to meet again until 2009.
Legislators in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have also issued formal apologies.
The resolution passed today includes the wording:
"The Legislative Council expresses its deepest sympathies and solemn regrets to those who were enslaved and those descendants of slaves, who were deprived of life, human dignity, and the constitutional protections accorded of all citizens of the United States."