State Supreme Court to clarify when judges should hold violent offenders without bail

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Supreme Court says in the coming weeks, it will clarify when judges should hold violent offenders without bail.

Last year, New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment that allows judges to hold some suspects without bond if they are a danger to the community.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez says judges rely on the criminal complaint, others want witness testimony.

“This is our job. This is what we represent the people to do is to make these kinds of tough decisions, and when we need to, we resort to a higher authority,” Torrez said.

Torrez asked the court for guidance after motions to deny bail were rejected in two cases.

Paul Salas is accused of 47 armed robberies in Albuquerque. Mauralon Harper, aka Kevin Smith, is accused of shooting his girlfriend in the stomach.

Judge Stanley Whitaker set bonds for both although a federal judge ordered Salas be detained until trial.

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