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Gov. Martinez: Repeal constitutional amendment that's returning criminals to the streets

Kai Porter
October 18, 2017 06:32 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Gov. Susana Martinez is calling for a repeal of a constitutional amendment that was an overhaul of the state’s bail system, suggesting it’s accomplishing the opposite of what it was intended to do.

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In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Martinez said the state judiciary was using the new court rules to “return criminals to our neighborhoods.”

Martinez says she plans to call on state lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session to reform the pre-trial detention process.

"We have the same persons, no matter how many cases they have against them, no matter the criminal history, no matter how many times they've not attended court – they're not compliant with probation or parole,” she said. “They're getting released out into the streets and into the neighborhoods.”

The amendment was implemented to keep dangerous criminal suspects in jail while releasing non-violent suspects who can’t afford bail. But a great many people have been put into the latter category.

“Despite years of criminal activity, William Wilson was let out of custody by a judge. On Aug. 27th, he shot and injured a New Mexico State Police Officer during a traffic stop in Farmington,” Martinez wrote on Facebook.

In that case, the district attorney didn’t file a pre-trial detention motion, instead asking the judge to hold Wilson without bond. But filing the motion isn’t something district attorneys should have to do, according to Martinez.

"That was part of the amendment – that they have to file these motions to be able to keep them in jail,” Martinez said. “That has never been before. That has to be repealed. There has to be some responsibility on these judges. That's why they have access to all the criminal history of these individuals. If they're looking at it and ignoring it and still letting them out, then it's on them."

She’s urging lawmakers to repeal or replace the amendment and send it to voters immediately.

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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