SANTA FE – New Mexico’s law-enforcement agencies would be empowered to keep secret the names of some witnesses to and victims of certain crimes – rape and stalking, among them – under a proposal headed to the Senate floor.
The proposal triggered intense opposition from the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and others – who argued that it would limit the public’s ability to monitor the work of police.
Senate Bill 149, in any case, won the unanimous backing of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and now heads to the Senate floor.
Sen. Jacob Candelaria, an Albuquerque Democrat who sponsored the proposal, said it’s aimed at protecting the confidentiality of men and women who have endured rape or a similar crime. The state records law, he said, already has an exemption for people accused of but not charged with a crime.