Chief justice says low funding threatens courts

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court says funding cuts to the judiciary are threatening the constitutional rights to a speedy trial and along with basic court services.

Chief Justice Charles Daniels addressed a joint session of the Legislature on Thursday. He described a judiciary that is “on life support” and said emergency funding is needed in the coming months for state courts to avoid furloughs and meet obligations to compensate jurors and witnesses.

More county clerks are cutting back on hours they devote to helping the public. Funding to the judiciary was cut in the current fiscal year as lawmakers struggled to fill a budget hole.

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