REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS CALL ON SUPREME COURT TO MODIFY LOCAL RULE IMPOSING TIME LIMITS ON CRIMINAL CASES IN BERNALILLO COUNTY

REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS CALL ON SUPREME COURT TO MODIFY LOCAL RULE IMPOSING TIME LIMITS ON CRIMINAL CASES IN BERNALILLO COUNTY

 Santa Fe, NM – Republican legislators sent a letter to the Supreme Court asking for a modification to the so-called 10-day rule which has resulted in violent criminals being released in Bernalillo County.

Local Rule 2-400, which went into effect in February of 2015, sets forth strict timelines for the disposition of criminal cases and imposes sanctions on the District Attorney and public defenders when deadlines are missed.  With the implementation of these unreasonable deadlines, the District Attorney has had to dismiss hundreds of cases rather than face the sanctions required by the rule.  While the charges can be refiled, the accused – many of whom have committed violent crimes – are released where they are a threat to commit further violent acts.

“We believe Rule LR2-400 NMRA was a well-intentioned effort to reduce overcrowding in New Mexico’s jails, but we are concerned that it has led to a significant increase in charges against violent criminal defendants being dismissed and those violent offenders being released back on the streets,” wrote the Republican legislators.

The letter, which was signed by fifteen Republican Representatives and a Republican Senator, asks the court to extend the amount of time that the prosecution has to turn evidence over to the defense and to double the amount of time that cases may be brought to trial.  Otherwise, the initiatives that the legislature will consider in the upcoming legislative session to improve public safety “will be significantly undermined if cases continue to be dismissed because of the Supreme Court-imposed deadlines that are impossible to meet.”

The legislators who signed the letter are Speaker Don L. Tripp, (R-Socorro), Representative David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), Representative Randal S. Crowder (R-Clovis), Representative Jimmie C. Hall (R-Albuquerque), Representative Jason C. Harper (R-Rio Rancho), Representative Yvette Herrell (R-Alamogordo), Representative Larry A. Larranaga (R-Albuquerque), Representative Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-Albuquerque), Representative Rod Montoya (R-Farmington), Representative Andy Nunez (R-Hatch), Senator Sander Rue (R-Albuquerque), Representative Larry R. Scott (R-Hobbs), Representative James E. Smith (R-Sandia Park), Representative Bob Wooley (R-Roswell), Representative Monica Youngblood (R-Albuquerque), and Representative John L. Zimmerman (R-Las Cruces).

*Letter to Supreme Court Attached

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