During this year’s regular 2015-16 session, Peter Wirth sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 1 proposing two changes to the bail provisions in the New Mexico Constitution.
First, Judges in felony cases would be able to hold dangerous defendants without bail if they are a threat to another person or the community. Currently, these dangerous defendants can post a money bond and be back on the street while they await trial.
Second, the resolution states that non-dangerous defendants cannot be held in jail pending trial solely because they lack the financial resources to post a money or property bond.
Here is a link to the joint resolution: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/16%20Regular/final/SJR01.pdf. The new language is in Section 1 starting on line 18.
Meredith Machen, President of the New Mexico League of Women Voters, wrote an excellent op-ed in the Santa Fe New Mexican explaining the changes. This bipartisan legislation passed by a wide margin in the state Senate and unanimously in the state House.
Please vote “Yes” on Constitutional Amendment No. 1 this fall. These changes will make us safer, save taxpayers money and enable non-violent offenders who are poor and not a flight risk to be released and not spends months in jail when they have not been convicted of anything.