New Mexico Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, March 11, 2008, 02:15:43 AM

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It wasn't the death penalty's fault they got wrongly sent to death row. It is the fault of faulty evidence.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.


JANUARY 29, 2011


Some religious groups oppose NM death penalty reinstatement; prosecutors, police favor it

New Mexico's new governor, who's a former prosecutor in Las Cruces, says some crimes deserve the ultimate punishment.

Gov. Susana Martinez wants the death penalty back on the state's books.

Some religious groups are opposing her effort, but organizations representing prosecutors and law enforcement officers say the death penalty is necessary.

When New Mexico repealed capital punishment in 2009, it replaced lethal injection with life in prison without the possibility of parole,.

New Mexico is now 1 of 15 states without a death penalty.

Republican Rep. Dennis Kintigh of Roswell introduced the first attempt to reinstate the death penalty this year.

He wants to put the question before the voters as a state constitutional amendment.

Kintigh says he believes voters should decide such a serious issue.

(source: The Republic)


Granny B

I hope they get it on a ballot for the voters.  I believe the voters would pass it without hesitation. 
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy


This is the latest I could find.

March 21, 2011

Bid to reinstate NM death penalty stalls
House committee tabled a pair of measures late Tuesday that called for the death penalty to be put back on the state's books
By Dan Boyd
The Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE -- Two years after New Mexico did away with the death penalty, attempts to reinstate capital punishment are encountering deeply rooted resistance.

With the clock ticking on a 60-day legislative session that ends March 19, a House committee tabled a pair of measures late Tuesday that called for the death penalty to be put back on the state's books.

One of the measures, House Bill 371, would have made capital punishment an option in certain homicide cases, while the other, House Joint Resolution 6, would have allowed voters to decide the issue.

Rep. Dennis Kintigh , R-Roswell, a retired FBI agent who sponsored both measures, said he had hoped for the debate to have a larger stage than the five-member House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

"I think it's a disservice to the public to have it bottled up like that," Kintigh said Wednesday.

Tuesday's hearing came after House Republican leaders had sent a Feb. 28 letter to House Speaker Ben Lujan, D-Santa Fe, complaining the death penalty measures hadn't been formally discussed more than a month after they were introduced.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a first-term Republican who took office in January, has said she supports reinstating the death penalty.

Although Martinez hasn't pushed the issue as forcefully as she has other hot-button topics, a spokesman for the governor said Tuesday that she hasn't changed her stance.

"It is a priority," said Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell.

Kintigh cited Martinez's successful gubernatorial campaign as the impetus to take another look at the issue, saying "That generated a reason to have the debate."

However, Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque, who led a 12-year effort to repeal capital punishment and serves as chairwoman of the House committee that tabled this year's death penalty measures, said a number of New Mexicans have already shared their stories on the issue and taken part in public policy polls.

"I just reject the notion that people haven't weighed in," Chasey said Wednesday.

She also cited fiscal estimates from the Public Defender Department that reinstating the death penalty could cost the state millions of dollars in increased court costs.

New Mexico became the 15th state without capital punishment when former Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill in 2009 that replaced the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The bill didn't apply retroactively, however, meaning crimes committed before mid-2009 could still be punishable by execution.

A Senate bill seeking to reinstate the death penalty has also been introduced but is languishing in committee.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.



On Nov. 10, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and two life sentences of Robert Ray Fry in a 1996 Farmington double murder. Fry is currently one of two New Mexico inmates on death row; the court upheld his conviction and death sentence in another case in 2005. The other death row inmate, Timothy Allen, was convicted of the kidnapping, murder and attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl. The high-profile case of Michael Astorga, for whom prosecutors have sought the death sentence for allegedly killing a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputy in 2006, two years before New Mexico outlawed capital punishment, is still pending.
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.


12 August 2013

In New Mexico on Wednesday, August 7, 11th District Court Judge Karen Townsend upheld the death sentences of Timothy Allen and Robert Fry, the only two condemned inmates remaining on death row in the state. The New Mexico Legislature abolished capital punishment in 2009, but stipulated that the ban on the death penalty applied only to future crimes and sentencing.

Timothy Allen, 52, was convicted of the December 1995 first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape of 17-year-old Sandra Phillips. Allen is currently incarcerated in the medical unit of the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas.

According to court documents filed by defense attorney Melissa Hill, "Mr. Allen is under treatment by prison psychiatric staff for a constellation of severe symptoms of mental illness, including hearing voices." In her ruling upholding the death sentences, Judge Townsend said that Allen's attorneys should plan for an evidentiary hearing to discuss habeas proceedings.

Robert Fry, 40, was sentenced to death for the 2000 murder of 36-year-old Betty Lee. Fry is currently the sole prisoner on death row in the Penitentiary of New Mexico, near Santa Fe.

Although there is no execution date currently set for either Fry or Allen, Alex Tomlin, corrections department public affairs director, said there are several holding cells in the prison where the men would likely spend their final days, including a death chamber where they would be put to death by lethal injection. Tomlin said the corrections department would hire a private contractor to perform the executions if they are ordered by the court.
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.


New Mexico death penalty case goes to jury
December 4, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The fate of an Arizona inmate who kidnapped and murdered a retired Oklahoma couple following a 2010 prison break went to the jury Wednesday, the final phase in a rare and lengthy New Mexico death penalty trial.

In closing arguments, prosecutors portrayed John McCluskey as a dangerous, remorseless, cold-blooded killer who deserves nothing less than execution for the August 2010 slayings of Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh, Okla., as they passed through the state.

A life sentence for John McCluskey "would be like putting a child in the corner," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Warbel argued.

Defense attorney Gary Mitchell, however, told jurors McCluskey "is a human, he's a man." Mitchell said McCluskey has a low IQ and has suffered a hard life of abuse, brain damage, a prison rape and addiction.

McCluskey shouldn't have to pay the ultimate price "because the good Lord didn't bless him with what you and I have," Mitchell said.

"Life in prison without release is more than sufficient," Mitchell told the jury. "It's a horrific sentence."

McCluskey, 48, was convicted in October of murder, carjacking and other charges in the slayings of the high school sweethearts and recent retirees, who were making their 11th annual trek to Colorado to go fishing.

Warbel said serious crimes deserve serious punishment.

"The defendant wants you to sentence him to life in prison," he said. Warbel noted McCluskey is a repeat violent criminal who has spent much of his life behind bars and is used to a routine that includes meals, coffee, showers and exercise.

"Don't give the defendant what he's asking for. Give him what he deserves."

The case was sent to the jury late Wednesday, four months after the panel was seated to hear what was only the second federal death penalty case in the state in a decade. New Mexico outlawed the death penalty for state crimes in 2009.

Much of the three-phase trial focused less on whether McCluskey was guilty than whether he was capable of controlling his impulses and making reasoned decisions when he kidnapped and killed the couple.

McCluskey was serving 15 years for attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and discharge of a firearm when he and two other prisoners escaped from a medium-security prison near Kingman, Ariz., in July 2010 with the help of his cousin and fiancee, Casslyn Welch.

One of the inmates was quickly captured after a shootout with authorities in Colorado. McCluskey, Welch and inmate Tracy Province headed to New Mexico, where they kidnapped the Haases for their truck and travel trailer.

Province and Welch pleaded guilty last year to carjacking resulting in death, conspiracy, use of a firearm during a violent crime and other charges. They both fingered McCluskey as the triggerman.

The victims were recent retirees from General Motors. The slayings happened three days after the prison break that Welch testified was funded by a drug smuggling ring she and McCluskey ran for prison inmates.

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

Angelstorms OL'Man

"Life in prison without release is more than sufficient," Mitchell told the jury. "It's a horrific sentence."

I have to agree its just  plane horrifically,....... Not enough...
This was designed to hurt....Its a SEAL Candace unless you have been there yo will never understand...


I thought New Mexico had repealed the death penalty. Did they bring it back?


Death row inmates ask NM Supreme Court for life in prison
October 27, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - New Mexico's last two death row inmates want off the list and their attorneys plead their case in front of the state Supreme Court Monday morning.

However, some of the family members of the victims say this latest court battle is like reliving the nightmare of their death.

Attorneys for Timothy Allen and Robert Fry argue their death sentences are now unconstitutional since the state repealed the death penalty in 2009. But some of the victim's families believe the fate of the two men has been sealed by a jury.

No one in the courtroom Monday was arguing the innocence of convicted killers and death row inmates Robert Fry and Timothy Allen. However, whether or not the two men should be put to death is now the question for the New Mexico Supreme Court.

"We are here asking this court to find that the execution of Mr. Fry and Mr. Allen violate our state constitution," said Kathleen McGarry, attorney for Robert Fry.

Fry and Allen's attorneys argued Monday that putting the two to death would be "cruel and unusual punishment," since the New Mexico Legislature repealed death penalty and executions in 2009.

The attorneys also argue that killing Allen and Fry would violate equal protection for the men because the Legislature because of the Legislature's decision to establish a specific date when people could not be executed.

"Somebody with the identical characteristics who committed the identical crime one minute after midnight, or July 1, 2009, would not receive the death penalty," said Melissa Hill, attorney for Timothy Allen.

Allen killed 17-year old Sandra Phillips in 1994 after kidnapping her and trying to rape her.

Robert Fry was convicted of killing a mother of five in 2000. He also murdered three other people in the '90s.

However, the state disagrees.

"This is a heavy burden (to prove,") said Victoria Wilson, an assistant attorney general for New Mexico.

The state Attorney General's Office says the constitution allows for criminals to be sentenced under law that existed at the time they were convicted.

"This court does not sit as super legislature with the power to uphold or strike down the laws of the state based on the court's own judgment as to the wisdom and propriety of such laws," said Wilson.

Darlene Phillips doesn't feel that the latest appeal should be happening though.

"The most beautiful little red head you've ever seen in your life," said Phillips while looking at a photo of her daughter Sandra.

Sandra was killed by Allen in 1994 after he kidnapped and tried to rape her.

"You know the court of law has already decided this, why do they get another chance to over and over again," said Phillips.

Justices will take the next several months to make a decision. Sandra hopes it will finally be the end.

"He murdered my daughter. I gave my... that's my baby," said Phillips.

The state Supreme Court justices have not set a time table on when they'll make a decision. If the death penalty is overturned, both would get life in prison.

Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, New Mexico has only put one person to death. That was Terry Clark, who was executed in 2001.
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

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