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.