Police & Prison

Federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal drug, creating headaches for states

BY: - January 3, 2022

Most states in the U.S. are in violation of a major federal drug statute.  The 1971 Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana in the most dangerous category defined in the law, on par with cocaine and heroin because of its supposed potential for abuse and lack of medical applications.  But 36 states plus the District of […]

Tribal authority to prosecute domestic violence cases could be expanded

BY: - December 22, 2021

Navajo Nation Police Officer Dwayne Hogue arrived at the domestic violence call from a woman who reported she was struck by her husband and pushed down on the coffee table while she held her 4-month-old baby.  When he saw her, he could see the swelling on her face, and he asked if the child was […]

House Republicans slam treatment of Jan. 6 defendants held at D.C. jail

BY: - December 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Four House Republicans held a Tuesday press conference to complain about the poor conditions at a District of Columbia jail housing inmates charged with violence in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.   But a District of Columbia advocate for prison reform in an interview said that jail and another […]

Navajo Nation police chief is stepping down

BY: - November 29, 2021

Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco is leaving the position he’s held for five and half years. He’ll instead become chief of police for Bloomfield, N.M., and will begin his new job Jan. 4.  Before Francisco was named Navajo Nation police chief, it had been well over a decade since someone was in that role. […]

Grad workers ask regents to call for UNM to drop legal fight

BY: - November 25, 2021

When representatives of the UNM graduate workers union tried to talk to the school’s governing council on Wednesday afternoon, one regent quickly drove away while four others refused to intervene. The regents gathered Tuesday, Nov. 23, for lunch at Los Poblanos, a high-end restaurant, inn and organic farm in Albuquerque’s North Valley that boasts a […]

Jury convicts all three men of murder for the death of Ahmaud Arbery

BY: - November 24, 2021

A nearly all-white jury in a Glynn County courtroom Wednesday afternoon convicted three white men of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. The 25-year-old Black jogger ran through their neighborhood in February 2020. Travis McMichael, seen all over the world in a viral video that shows him firing a shotgun into Arbery at close […]

Jury starts deliberations in trial of three men charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing

BY: - November 24, 2021

The Glynn County jury set to determine the fate of three men charged with the death of Ahmaud Arbery will begin their second day of deliberation today. The jurors spent more than five hours in deliberation Tuesday after the prosecution made its closing arguments. Judge Timothy Walmsley dismissed the jurors shortly before 6:30 p.m. with […]

COVID still spreading in NM prisons despite nearly everyone getting the jab

BY: - November 23, 2021

Almost all state prisoners in New Mexico have been fully vaccinated, though the latest data show one state prison here has one of the highest rates of infection of any jail or prison in the United States. As of Monday, there were 5,282 prisoners who had received both doses —  about 95% — state Corrections […]


Rittenhouse verdict flies in the face of legal standards for self-defense

BY: - November 22, 2021

In a two-week trial that reignited debate over self-defense laws across the nation, a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse for shooting three people, two fatally, during a racial justice protest in Kenosha. The Wisconsin jury believed Rittenhouse’s claims that he feared for his life and acted in self-defense after he drove about 20 miles from his home in Antioch, Illinois […]

With Rittenhouse acquittal, activists hear echo close to home

BY: - November 20, 2021

Activist Lisa Christopherson said that the day news first broke of a fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wisc., she couldn’t help but see the similarities. Since then, she’s followed the arrest, trial and, as of Friday, acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse as a potential template for what might happen here in the case of Steven Ray Baca. […]

YOUNG AND INCARCERATED: Life sentences for people who aren’t yet 18

BY: - November 20, 2021

It’s a moment in Santana Serrano’s life — just a few seconds really — when she was a teenager that changed everything. Source NM’s Austin Fisher brings us this series. Fisher reported that the basics of her case were not in question: Two younger guys got in a fight down in Hobbs, N.M. Serrano was […]

Young and incarcerated: Part 5

BY: - November 16, 2021

GRANTS — When Santana Serrano first arrived at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, she would call her mother crying. “Mom, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” she recalled saying. “Please help me get me out. Do whatever you can. I can’t do it.” Her mother told her yes, she could. At […]