SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A high-profile piece of anti-crime legislation is facing intense scrutiny at the Roundhouse. After fierce questioning, the proposal to reform pretrial detention never made it to a committee vote on Wednesday. The bill would automatically keep a defendant locked up until trial unless the defense can prove the person is not a danger. The idea has fueled a debate after a legislative report came out saying the change would not reduce crime while the Bernalillo County District Attorney insists it would.
Lawmakers grilled the sponsors and the DA’s Office about the quality of the data, concerns over the defendant’s constitutional right, and whether the legislature even has this authority. Sponsor Representative Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque) called to postpone further discussion.
“As I’m listening to the conversation and the questions and so forth. I think there’s a number of issues that have been raised that require some additional thought. We need solutions and I’m happy to talk with anybody who has some good ideas,” said Rep. Matthews.
The proposal is one of several bills backed by the governor aimed at cracking down on crime.