ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Over the past year, homeowners have been killed by burglars - and burglars killed by homeowners in Albuquerque.
Most people would agree home burglary is one of the worst crimes because it robs a person of their sense of security.
But many New Mexico burglars get sentenced to probation.
There's no mandatory prison sentence because it's not considered a violent crime.
Those are a couple of the reasons some lawmakers want to rework New Mexico's sentencing system.
"The reason that they committed the burglary in the first place is usually drugs," said Sen. Lisa Torraco, R-Albuquerque. "It's only a very short matter of time before they violate their probation and they're in jail."
Rep. Antonio Maestas, D-Albuquerque, said, "The jail can only have so many cells; the prison can only have so many cells. We have to prioritize and currently, the criminal justice code doesn't prioritize."
Both Maestas and Torraco want to see lighter sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, but tougher sentences for crimes like burglary which can easily turn violent or deadly.
New Mexico's maximum sentence for drug crimes is 18 years compared to three years for burglary.
A legislative subcommittee will start meeting Oct. 1.
Their plan is to bring recommendations to the full legislature during the next full session in 2015.
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