ACLU urges ‘smart justice’ on New Mexico public safety bills

Stock The ROUNDHOUSE - NM Legislature

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is urging state lawmakers to think through various public safety proposals and consider their possible effects on civil rights.

ACLU-NM executive director Peter Simonson said the state needs “smart justice, not iron justice” as lawmakers promise to introduce all sorts of criminal justice legislation. Lawmakers are proposal bills from creating tougher penalties for most violent crimes to allowing cities to impose curfews targeting teens.

Simonson says proposals like the strengthening New Mexico’s “three strikes” law may contribute to prison overcrowding and lead to potential civil right violations.

He also says curfew law passed by cities would likely be deemed unconstitutional even if lawmakers pass a bill.

The public safety proposals come amid a number of high-profile crimes linked to repeat offenders.

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