State Supreme Court takes back ruling to keep juvenile court records sealed

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Supreme Court recently made a new ruling to keep the public away from gaining access to any information about any juvenile accused of a crime. However, the new ruling has been suspended only a few days after officially being implemented.

“The U.S. Supreme Court though, has also acknowledged that juveniles are not the same as adults, and have other sorts of types of protections,” said attorney Rod Frechette.

That’s why the State Supreme Court decided to make a new rule.

“The public, which in some courts had access before by going to the court and asking to see the records, would no longer have that access,” said Arthur Pepin of the Courts.

Juvenile criminals like Nehemiah Griego and Mylin Bill have been accused of some serious crimes. With the new rule, their files would not be accessible to the public.

Criminal defense attorneys say they agree with the ruling to keep troubled kids on the right track for their future.

“We in our society place a high value on protecting the rights to privacy, particularly of children, and particularly in the digital age,” said attorney David Serna.

The ACLU also agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision.

“It is important for the theory of protecting juveniles and allowing juveniles to move on with their lives after they’ve become adults,” said Paul Haidle.

It was a decision the Supreme Court says they’ve been working on for a long time. However, on Tuesday they suspended the ruling.

“After the rule was adopted, a significant number of comments began to come in from people who hadn’t realized the rule had been proposed,” said Pepin.

While the Supreme Court waits for the public to give them feedback on the decision, people in Albuquerque already have their own opinions.

“Anybody that commits a crime, the public should be able to have access no matter what your age because you have a mental illness,” said Lorraine Jones.

If the Supreme Court decides to reinstate the ruling, any juvenile charged as an adult will not be subjected to the ruling. That means their records will still be available for the public to access.

The deadline for comments is Feb. 9. You can submit your input on the Supreme Court’s website.

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