Bernalillo County DA responds to court’s ruling on pre-trial witnesses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County’s District Attorney is speaking out after the Supreme Court clarified what it takes to hold suspects in jail until trial.

A constitutional amendment was passed a year ago by voters. The new rules were meant to keep dangerous defendants behind bars while non-violent suspects are let go and not kept behind bars because they can’t afford bail.

DA Raul Torrez asked the Supreme Court to step in saying there were too many obstacles to keep suspects in custody.

The court ruled prosecutors are not obligated to present live witness testimony at pretrial detention hearings as once thought.

“I don’t know if this is going to lead to us having more success or greater success in getting people detained but I can tell you that it’s going to save an enormous amount of time,” Torrez said.

Torrez says he sought help from the court because different judges were asking for different types of evidence and prosecutors in his office are dealing with a backlog of cases.

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