New Mexico lawmaker will propose amendment to reform bail system

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A Santa Fe lawmaker says he will sponsor a proposed constitutional amendment for the state’s bail system, which he calls “broken.”

Sen. Peter Wirth, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thursday his bill will be introduced during the 30-day state legislative session that starts in January.

The Democrat’s proposal puts forward two key reforms, one of which would allow judges to deny bail before trial for the most high-risk, dangerous defendents.

Another reform being proposed would allow for the release of low-risk defendants who are being held in jail simply because they do not have the means to make bond. If approved in the legislature, a measure would go before voters in November 2016.

Arthur Pepin, director of the state’s administrative office of the courts, says New Mexico’s judiciary endorses a bail reform constitutional amendment.

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