Gov. Martinez unveils tough-on-crime proposals

Gov Susana Martinez

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The death penalty, more life sentences, and more people behind bars—Monday Gov. Martinez rolled out her wish list for the legislative session, which starts next week.

Gov. Martinez took shots at lawmakers Monday saying for years they’ve gone too soft on crime helping to create the crime problem that’s plaguing New Mexico.

“Enough is enough,” Gov. Martinez said. That was the common threat throughout the governor’s speech Monday as she discussed her anti-crime agenda.

“Every year since taking office I have called on lawmakers to get tough on crime,” she said. “Over and over again our legislature has failed to act.”

Gov. Martinez is putting a lot of blame on lawmakers. She says she’s sick of being number one for car thefts and seeing the constant stories of criminals getting arrested over and over again.

“That’s the revolving door I’m talking about,” Gov. Martinez said. “They’re making a mockery of the criminal justice system.”

Gov. Martinez wants to start by ending what she calls the catch-and-release of dangerous and violent suspects to keep them locked up until trial.

“We have a series of proposals designed to crack down on repeat offenders to support police and prosecutors, and of course to protect our kids,” she said.

She also wants to add “real teeth” to the state’s three-strikes law. “So that when a criminal commits their third violent crime, they go back to prison for life.”

Lastly, she wants to reinstate the death penalty.

“Those who kill police and children and correctional officers, they deserve the ultimate punishment,” Gov. Martinez said.

Lawmakers like Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D) has other ideas in mind, saying the bigger issue is money.

“We can put whatever laws we want to on the books and have as many fights we want about tougher penalties or treatment, but the reality is if we do not fund the people on the front lines keeping us safe…we will not be safe,” he said.

The governor also wants stiffer sentences for people who commit crimes while on probation or parole.

Last week, the governor announced she wants to set aside $6.5 million for the Bernalillo County District Attorney to hire more prosecutors and investigators. The DA’s office has been clamoring for more money for years.

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