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New Mexico Supreme Court defends bail reforms from lawsuit

Stefan Dill
August 21, 2017 10:43 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Supreme Court is defending new pretrial detention policies from legal challenge in federal court by the bail bonding industry.

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In court filings released on Monday, state judicial officials called the lawsuit a desperate attempt by the bail bonding industry to regain control.

New Mexico has begun releasing nonviolent suspects before trial who might otherwise languish in jail only because they cannot afford bail. The policy changes respond to a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November.

The Bail Bond Association of New Mexico and five state lawmakers maintain that suspects should have the right to pay bail without waiting on a judge's decision. State judicial officials want the lawsuit dismissed.

Similar bail bond reforms in New Jersey also are being challenged in federal court.

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Stefan Dill

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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