Decades ago two men in Arizona agreed to sell a large amount of marijuana to two college students from Michigan, who planned to re-sell it at a profit in small parcels. They drove out to the desert for the transaction. The Arizona men did not deliver the marijuana. Instead they shot the two students to death and took the $10,000 the students had brought.
The killers were later convicted of murder and sentenced to long terms in prison. One of the killers sent heavily into education. He completed college while in prison and did very well. Upon release after serving 17 years, he gained admission to an Arizona law school and later graduated.
He then applied for admission to the bar so he could practice law. He needed to show he was of “good moral character.” The bar association decided he did not meet that standard because of murders decades before.
One of my former pals was the head of the Arizona bar association at that time. She explained publicly that the murders ruled the man out.
The saga raises an important question: Do we believe in redemption? If so, what is necessary to obtain it? Completing a long prison term? Leading a lawful, useful life for a long time after committing an awful act? Making amends?
I believe in possibility of redemption. It is the greatest part of the Christian religion.
I reckon people can change for the better. I want proof though before I believe a person has changed.
I would consider all the factors I listed above, if the bar-association decision on the man were mine to make.
If the evidence showed current good character, I would vote to allow the man to practice law.
How about you?