Police & Prison

Black rifles sit on a white store shelf against a bright red wall in the foreground. In the background, men inspect other firearms.

Two-week waiting period, ban on large magazines clear first committee in NM Legislature

BY: - February 9, 2023

As the U.S. grapples with gun policy in the face of mass shootings and gun violence, state lawmakers are also weighing several reforms that have begun moving in the Roundhouse.  A panel of House lawmakers in New Mexico on Tuesday afternoon passed two proposals that would create a waiting period before someone has a gun […]

A demonstrator holds up a sign offering more information about incarcerated Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier at a rally organized by The Red Nation in front of the Pete V. Domenici Courthouse in downtown Albuquerque on the evening of Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, the 48th anniversary of Peltier's incarceration and the International Day of Solidarity for the activist. (Photo by Shelby Wyatt for Source NM)

Clemency for Leonard Peltier demanded decades after his incarceration

BY: - February 7, 2023

People in Albuquerque joined others across the country demanding the release of Leonard Peltier from federal prison. “His imprisonment was meant to demoralize us and to discourage us from resisting. He was meant to be made an example of, to show people this is what happens if you speak out,” Jennifer Marley said in front […]

Solomon Pena, a former Republican Party candidate for an NM House seat, has been charged in connection to shootings at Democratic politicians' homes in Albuquerque.

Solomon Pena pleads not guilty following grand jury indictment

BY: - February 3, 2023

Solomon Pena pleaded not guilty during a Friday arraignment hearing, his first court appearance since a grand jury indicted him on 14 felony charges related to an alleged plot to shoot at the homes of elected officials. Pena, an election denier and failed 2022 GOP candidate for the N.M. House, is accused of enlisting help […]

Demonstrators block traffic in Memphis after police released video footage depicting the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols.

The infection of anti-Black bias in U.S. society and policing

BY: - February 3, 2023

Once again, Americans are left reeling from the horror of video footage showing police brutalizing an unarmed Black man who later died. Some details in the latest case of extreme police violence were gut-wrenchingly familiar: a police traffic stop of a Black male motorist turned violent. But, for many of us, other details were unfamiliar: […]

Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House on Feb. 2, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Congressional Black Caucus meets with Biden to push for police accountability

BY: - February 3, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris Thursday evening to urge the administration to use its executive power for law enforcement reform, following criminal charges for police officers in the killing of a Black man in Memphis, Tennessee.  “My hope is this dark memory spurs some […]

Detail of the New Mexico Corrections Department logo painted on a wall inside the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility.

N.M. prison officials seek funding for hundreds of vacant guard positions

BY: - February 2, 2023

A panel of House lawmakers on Tuesday honored a request by the head of the state prison system and the governor to keep paying for hundreds of guard positions that have sat empty for years, against the recommendation of their own analysts. In its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the Legislative Finance Committee  […]

A man sits in the center of a curved wooden rostrum, looking at someone else off camera. Behind him, mounted on a wooden wall, is the seal of the New Mexico Senate.

Some lawmakers unconvinced ‘rebuttable presumptions’ bill would make it through the courts

BY: - January 31, 2023

New Mexico’s governor and the district attorney for the largest county in the state are working to convince lawmakers to change the way pretrial detention hearings work by saying they want to balance the rights of people accused of crimes with their impression about public safety. Whenever prosecutors ask a judge to hold someone accused […]

Second Chance bill has better chances to pass than in previous years

BY: - January 30, 2023

A proposal to end life without parole as a sentencing option for children and decrease how long someone convicted as a juvenile would have to be in prison before a parole board could consider their case has significantly better chances to pass than in prior legislative sessions. Senate Bill 64 would end life without parole […]

Three people in formal attire sit at a large, round table, with the camera focused on a bespectacled man in the center.

The New Mexico Voting Rights Act: What’s in and what’s out

BY: - January 27, 2023

A sprawling proposal to expand and return the right to vote to more New Mexicans could finally become a reality this session after years of legislative and community effort, according to Democratic leaders, pro-democracy organizers and the state’s top election official. In the short 30-day session in 2022, opponents argued they were not given enough […]

Two people sit in formal attire, the seal and flag of the State of New Mexico behind them. On the large round table in front of them, a number of press microphones listen in.

Governor: N.M. prison medical care contracts leave ‘a lot to be desired’

BY: - January 26, 2023

New Mexico’s governor and lawmakers from both parties are again pushing legislation that would require people accused of a crime to prove that they are not too dangerous to release before a trial. They are also trying to get 1,000 more police officers hired and working around the state. Those two initiatives, if successful, would […]

N.M. chief justice defends bail reform in State of the Judiciary

BY: - January 25, 2023

Since it became law, N.M. politicians at every level have called for an erosion of a landmark legal reform in the state’s history. New Mexico voters in 2016 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to abolish the cash bail system and left decisions about whether someone is incarcerated before trial entirely in the hands of judges. […]

Albuquerque DA appoints special prosecutor in 2020 monument shooting

BY: - January 23, 2023

The Bernalillo County District Attorney has appointed a special prosecutor to handle the criminal case against a former Albuquerque City Council candidate who shot a protester in June 2020 at the statue depicting Spanish colonizer Juan de Oñate called La Jornada at Tiguex Park in Albuquerque’s Old Town neighborhood. Steven Ray Baca, 34, is accused […]