Capital punishment is emblematic of our broken justice system. It is cruel, outdated, costed New Mexico millions of dollars, and didn't make us any safer. Multiple studies have shown that the death penalty is used in a discriminatory manner against people of color and poor people. Furthermore, the risk of executing an innocent person is very real. Between 1973 and 2015, 148 death row inmates were exonerated in 26 states.
In 2009, the New Mexico legislature repealed New Mexico's death penalty and Governor Bill Richardson signed it into law, ending capital punishment in New Mexico and replacing it with life imprisonment without parole. However, in 2016 Governor Susana Martinez partnered with a group of state lawmakers to introduce legislation that would reinstate the death penalty for people convicted of killing police officers or children.
The ACLU of New Mexico opposes any attempts to take our state backwards on the death penalty. Instead of returning to the ineffective and costly laws of yesterday, we believe it is time to move forward with smart solutions that actually prevent crime and keep our children and families safe. You can learn more about our strategies for getting smart on crime at www.nmsafe.org.