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ROBD’s proposed legal reforms

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Repeat Offenders Bring Death, Destruction and Devastation group, ROBD, is pushing for the following proposals in the next legislative session, which starts Jan. 19. The governor must call bills or their subject for them to be heard during the 30-day session.

1. “Steven’s Law” Curfew Bill,

House Bill 29

This would allow local governments to enact local child curfews between midnight at 5 a.m. for people under age 16, with specific exemptions. It would not enact a statewide curfew.

Pre-filed by Republican House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, and supported by Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, and Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho. It was named in memory of Steven Gerecke, 60, killed in June.

A group of teenagers was arrested in connection with his shooting death. Police say there were out in the early morning hours roaming residential streets stealing items from vehicles and homes when they encountered and killed Gerecke.

This law is opposed by the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.

2. Child abuse penalty enhancement

House Bill 68

This would enhance the penalty for intentional child abuse resulting in death to 30 years with the possibility of parole. It would also expand the ages considered a child up to age 18.

Currently the child abuse law penalties are tougher for children up to age 13 than they are for children 13 and 1 day up to age 18. This bill removes that difference. It would have applied to the death of Jaydon Chavez-Silver, who was 17 when he was killed and not covered by the child abuse resulting in death law as he would have been had he been 13 or younger.

It was pre-filed by Rep. Conrad James, R-Albuquerque.

3. “Lilly’s Law” Three strikes law enhancement

House Bill 56 and HB 37

These laws, in various forms,would expand the list of crimes that could be considered when sentencing someone as a habitual offender, which would require a mandatory life sentence with the chance of parole.

The law would apply to someone convicted for a third time for a violent crime. These bills were pre-filed by Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, and Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, both former police officers.

It is named in memory of Lilly Garcia, 4, who was shot during a road rage incident in October. Though it is called Lilly’s Law, the man charged in her death would not have been affected as he does not have violent crime convictions.

This law is opposed by the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.

4. “Jaydon’s Law” Access to violent juvenile criminal histories

House Bill 72

This bill would allow judges to access and use a juvenile’s criminal records when deciding bail and sentencing. Judges currently can’t access them or use them, even if a defendant just turned 18 and might have pending juvenile cases.

It was pre-filed by Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, and named in memory of Jaydon Chavez-Silver, 17, who was killed in June. Three teens have been charged in his death, including the son of a former state representative.

5. Constitutional Amendment allowing judges to deny bail for dangerous defendants

Senate Joint Resolution 1

This amendment would allow a judge to keep a defendant in jail while awaiting trial without bail if the person is deemed a threat to the community. Currently, state law requires judges to provide affordable bail to each defendant if the person is not deemed a flight risk.

It was pre-filed by Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe.

This law is supported by the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.

6. A consolidation of criminal databases

This would create a consolidated criminal database, linking the six currently disconnected databases at use in the state now, including court records, internal police and prosecutor records and federal databases.

The connection would allow prosecutors, judges and law enforcement to search all the databases at one time, possibly alerting them to outstanding issues regarding a subject that are now unavailable in the disparate systems, according to Rep. Nate Gentry.

This action requires an appropriation of $700,000 and subsequent $600,000 annual appropriations, Gentry said. He says he has secured the appropriation in the proposed budget.

This law is supported by the New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorneys Association.

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