Petition circulates against Senate Bill 247

Legislature

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Nearly 2,000 people have signed an online petition to get a proposed bill thrown out of the legislature, but not everyone is against the legislation. “The sounds, the smells, the screaming, the gunshots,” Jessica Throne remembers the day Nathaniel Jouett walked into the Clovis Carver Library, where she worked and started shooting.

“You’re stuck with that,” said Throne. “Not only was I shot and injured, I lost two of my very close friends,” said Throne.

A judge gave Jouett two life sentences with a chance at parole back in 2019. With good time, he could be eligible for parole in 30 years. Senate Bill 247 would give Jouett and other juvenile offenders serving 15 years to life, an opportunity for parole after 15 years behind bars.

“We obviously don’t want this bill to be passed,” said Chelsey Jorde. Her mom, Kristen Carter was killed in that 2017 library shooting. “Some of the acts that have been performed to get these juveniles to have these sentences are just terrible,” said Jorde.

Jorde, along with her sister Evie Fisher, and friend Jessica Throne are helping circulate a petition to try and keep this legislation from being passed. “It’s a slap in the face that this legislation is even on the table right now,” said Fisher.

But, not everyone is against the bill, Carissa Mcgee fully supports Senate Bill 247. When she was a teenager, Mcgee was sentenced to 21 years in prison for trying to kill her mom and sister. She served nearly nine years at the correctional facility in Grants.

Since doing her time, Mcgee says she’s turned her life around. “I had the fortune to know what it’s like to be given a second chance,” said Mcgee, who is now a referee for the New Mexico Athletics Association, and an advocate for youthful offenders. She says Senate Bill 247 will give other kids just like her that same chance.

The bill is now waiting to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The petition has received more than 17-hundred signatures, they’re trying to get 25-hundred.

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