Crime is soaring in New Mexico. I believe that allowing the release of criminals because of their inability to pay the cost of bonds may be contributing to the surge and that some judges may have abused their powers for political purposes. Modifications or restrictions on releases of criminally charged persons must be changed to include prohibiting or limiting poverty releases for repeat offenders. Mandatory sentencing requirements must be enacted/required and judicial discretion limited. The preponderance of evidence should place a substantial limitation on the judicial use of a poverty standard for repeat offenders, regardless of the seriousness of the crime. Innocent citizens always pay the price for crime prevention and prosecution, but further sloughing of the costs induced by repeat offenders onto the burden of law-abiding citizens is not fair and only provides additional incentive to repeat criminal behavior.
I believe New Mexico should consider limits to judicial powers when a judge oversteps other authorities such as parole boards or by legislating from the bench. Legislation must be considered limiting judges' sole authority to release violent and/or repeat criminals by clearly identifying criminal activities for which no release should be permitted. Judges' ability to ignore sentencing minimums should be strictly limited, especially because a legislative body expresses the people's will through elected representation.
We must fight for tougher laws, and enforce existing laws and penalties. The legislature has passed laws supporting the criminal over law-abiding citizens. This must change. We must protect our children and the future of NM.
Refer to Mark Rhonchetti’s Crime: Taking Back our Neighborhoods and CYFD –“ Putting Child Safety First”