NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Supreme Court says recent initiatives to expedite certain criminal cases are working. For one, Bernalillo County District Court has been bringing in retired judges to preside over settlement conferences where defendants and the state can reach plea agreements without going to trial.

A pilot project in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties has also streamlined procedures to reduce the number of hearings in metro and magistrate court cases. Court officials say those and other initiatives have helped clear backlogs across the state. They say the number of cases cleared during the last fiscal year was greater than the number of new cases filed.