Senators file proposal to reform New Mexico’s bail system

SANTA FE (AP) – A bipartisan contingent of state senators is sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at reforming New Mexico’s bail system.

The senators prefiled the resolution Tuesday. If approved by the Legislature and voters, it would amend the New Mexico Constitution to give judges more authority to deny bail for dangerous defendants.

Supporters say the proposal would address the threat to public safety resulting from language in the Constitution that requires courts to permit bail for virtually all defendants, no matter the threat they may pose if released.

The change would also allow pre-trial release of low-risk defendants who are being held simply because they don’t have the means to make bond.

The lawmakers behind the effort are Democrats Peter Wirth and Linda Lopez and Republicans Sander Rue and William Payne.

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