High court justice, who authored end to execution, to retire

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil is retiring from the New Mexico Supreme Court at the end of June after more than eight years at the high court.

Vigil’s departure from the bench was announced Tuesday and triggers a vetting process for her successor by a bipartisan nominating commission. Her successor stands for partisan election in 2022.

Vigil wrote the lead majority opinion in 2019 that set aside the death penalty for the final two inmates awaiting execution a decade after the state’s repeal of capital punishment.

She also authored recent opinions on utility regulation amid the state’s transition away from coal-fired power plants.