First Northern State to Apologize for Slavery

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ New Jersey's Legislature made the Garden State the first Northern state to apologize for slavery.

By a 59-8 vote last night, the Assembly approved a resolution expressing "profound regret'' for New Jersey's participation in the slave trade centuries ago.

The Senate passed the measure later, 29-2.

Supporters argued the apology would help New Jersey profess remorse for its slave trade involvement. Oponents said the apology
would be a meaningless gesture.

Assemblyman Richard Merkt said America has never accepted the
notion of collective guilt.

Legislators in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have issued formal apologies for slavery. A similar effort stalled in the Georgia Legislature.

The New Jersey measure is proposed as a resolution used to express the Legislature's opinion without requiring action by the governor.

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