capitol reports

2021 Capitol Report, March 11

INTRO

DEBATE OVER WHAT IS THE RIGHT SENTENCE FOR A TEENAGER WHO COMMITTS A TERRIBLE CRIME CONTINUES IN THE LEGISLATURE.

KOB 4’S CHRIS RAMIREZ REPORTS FROM THE ROUNDHOUSE.

RUNS: 1:41      OUT: STANDARD

SHOULD TEENAGERS CONVICTED OF HEINOUS – AWFUL CRIMES – GET A SECOND CHANCE?
IF SO – AT WHAT AGE?
THOSE QUESTIONS ARE AT THE CENTER OF THE DEBATE AROUND SENATE BILL 247 THAT PASSED THE FULL SENATE AND IS NOW IN THE HOUSE.
THE BILL REMOVES SENTENCES OF LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR THOSE WHO COMMITTED THEIR CRIMES AS TEENAGERS. RIGHT NOW, 75 NEW MEXICANS FIT IN THAT CATEGORY.
THE BILL’S SPONSOR SENATOR ANTOINETTE SEDILLO LOPEZ OF ALBUQUERQUE ARGUES THAT CHILDREN SHOULD GET SECOND CHANCES.

“I strongly believe that a life is a very sad thing to waste. And when somebody is a child, I believe they have the potential to transform.”

BUT THIS BILL HAS OPPONETS– INCLUDING THOSE WHO SURVIVED THE 2017 CLOVIS LIBRARY SHOOTING.  16 YEAR OLD NATHANIEL JOETT OPENED FIRE INSIDE THE CLOVIS LIBRARY, KILLING TWO PEOPLE AND WOUNDING SEVERAL OTHERS.  JESSICA THORN WAS ONE OF THEM.

“They like to refer to, you know, these murders and rapists and violent offenders as children, as victims. But, what about us? What about me?! What about Mandy? What about other family members? We lost a lot and we’re forced to live with this for the rest of our lives.”

LATE WEDNESDAY EVENING, A SENATE COMMITTEE PASSED THE CONTROVERSIAL NEW MEXICO CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.  IT NOW HEADS TO THE FULL SENATE, IT’S LAST STOP BEFORE GOING TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.
THE BILL OPENS THE DOOR FOR PEOPLE TO SUE STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS IN STATE DISTRICT COURT.
I’M CHRIS RAMIREZ, KOB 4 FOR THE NEW MEXICO NEWS NETWORK.

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