There has been a lot information – and misinformation – written about New Mexico’s new constitutional amendment on bail. Therefore, it is important to understand just what happened and what the amendment will actually mean for the state. As a person on the front line of this issue, I wanted to share my thoughts on the ramifications of this amendment.
First, the idea that bail bondsmen or monetary conditions of bail is somehow going away is not the case. Of course, it was Justice Charles Daniels’ desire to implement a no-money bail system like the one in Washington, D.C. However, he was unsuccessful in his lobbying efforts with the Legislature to get it passed this year.
Ultimately, Daniels was able to negotiate the language in the compromise version of the New Mexico constitutional amendment that preserved the use of monetary bonds and jail house bond schedules.
This compromise subsequently passed the state Legislature 67-0 and was approved by an overwhelming majority of voters.
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