When reformers try to lessen penalties for accomplices or bystanders, they inevitably get accused of being soft on crime. They're "just trying to empty the prisons," is the way Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, described the effort to change Illinois' "felony murder" law, explained in this week's cover story by Dean Olsen. McClure's characterization is an exaggeration, of course. We all know there are people in prison who don't deserve to be there, who have been punished too long for just hanging with the wrong people or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And we know there are people who aren't in prison who ought to be. Reforming the criminal justice system is about trying to get it right. – Fletcher Farrar, editor

Fletcher Farrar

Fletcher Farrar is the editor of Illinois Times .

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