Police & Prison

‘We request that Mr. Peltier be immediately released’

BY: - February 3, 2022

Benny Shendo said it shouldn’t have to be this way.  The New Mexico state senator from Jemez Pueblo doesn’t like that Native American leaders elected to public office are once again leading the charge to have Leonard Peltier released from federal prison. “I think his liberation and clemency and release from prison would send a […]

High-capacity magazine ban jams in committee

BY: - February 2, 2022

A measure that would have banned any gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds died in committee on Tuesday night after more than 80 members of the public attended a hearing to oppose it. The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted unanimously to table House Bill 156, which would have made it a […]

Harsher sentences do not reduce gun violence, research shows

BY: - February 2, 2022

New Mexico lawmakers twice raised penalties for gun-related crimes in recent years. They are considering doing so again in the name of addressing growing rates of violent crime in some parts of the state, especially among young people. But criminal justice advocates say sentence enhancements do not reduce crime, while some lawmakers are questioning why […]

Hundreds gather in Shiprock to call for justice and answers for MMIWR

BY: - January 31, 2022

When Seraphine Warren couldn’t get answers from law enforcement after her aunt Ella Mae Begay, 62, went missing seven months ago, she started walking. “I figured we were the only family that was treated like this, and we needed help,” said Warren, who, two weeks after Begay disappeared, walked more than 425 miles from her […]

COMMENTARY

A 40-year policy under attack, Indigenous people are fighting back

BY: - January 31, 2022

I came across a beautiful video of three young Apache nephews on TikTok. Two sang harmoniously in their language while one moved according to and in cadence with the song. My heart was beating Indigenously to know our future generation continues to carry on traditions, have ceremonies, speak their language — cornerstones of Indigenous culture. […]

Pretrial detention bill clears House committee despite skepticism

BY: - January 28, 2022

A bill that would keep more defendants in jail before trial advanced out of its first committee hearing Friday, even though some lawmakers who voted “yes” predict it will face legislative and legal challenges. The measure would create so-called “rebuttable presumptions,” which means defendants charged in serious crimes would be presumed to pose a danger […]

Jail guard union president warns of heightened chances for a riot at MDC

BY: - January 28, 2022

The head of the union representing guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center is skeptical that calling in the New Mexico National Guard will solve the problems there. Joseph Trujeque is the president of AFSCME Council 18 Local 2499, the union representing guards at MDC. He works there, too, and has for around 20 years.  A […]

COMMENTARY

The 13th Amendment’s fatal flaw created modern-day convict slavery

BY: and - January 26, 2022

The 13th Amendment is having a moment of reckoning. Considered one of the crowning achievements of American democracy, the Civil War-era constitutional amendment set “free” an estimated 4 million enslaved people and seemed to demonstrate American claims to equality and freedom. But the amendment did not apply to those convicted of a crime. And one group of […]

Affirmative consent bill fails in House committee, despite pressure from students

BY: - January 25, 2022

A proposed mandate to teach affirmative consent in New Mexico public schools and colleges failed in committee on Monday. House Bill 44 would have required schools to teach the concept in health classes, hang up signs that promote consent and apply the standards when sexual assault allegations are brought up between students. Santa Fe High […]

ACLU promises a legal fight against pretrial detention bill if it’s passed

BY: - January 25, 2022

If the pretrial detention bill Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other officials support is approved by the Legislature, the state will be forced to defend itself in court, a lawyer warned lawmakers on Monday.  “If passed, timely and resource-intensive litigation over the constitutionality of HB 5 is guaranteed,” said Denali Wilson, a staff attorney with […]

Governor puts ‘second chance’ bill on the agenda

BY: - January 24, 2022

The New Mexico Legislature will consider a bill prohibiting the sentencing of young people to life without parole after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham authorized the topic for the 30-day budget session this morning. Lujan Grisham wrote to the Senate approving Senate Bill 43, sponsored by Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque.  People who are under 18 […]

Analysts: Bail reform is not driving violent crime in Albuquerque

BY: - January 24, 2022

N.M. politicians are pushing to jail more people before their trials, but legislative analysts say that’s not likely to put much of a dent in violent crime rates. Little evidence exists to suggest that bail reform is driving violent crime trends in Albuquerque, state legislative staff reported last week. As lawmakers weigh a change to […]