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Gov. Susana Martinez Asks For Tougher Penalties

Stephanie Fitzgerald
Creative Commons

Governor Susana Martinez continued her push for tough-on-crime laws and support for officers on Tuesday in her last State of the State address at the end of her second term.

Martinez pointed to Albuquerque’s high crime rates and blamed judges for “catching and releasing” offenders and “those with soft on crime special interests.”

“Will we make New Mexico a very risky place for criminals to commit crimes?" she asked. "Or will we continue to develop a reputation as a state where crime is worth the gamble, where police departments are short-staffed, serious offenders are released from jail prior to trial, and punishments are weak?”

Her solutions? A three strikes law—three violent crimes could mean a life sentence—and the reinstatement of the death penalty for those who kill officers or children. Martinez also said law enforcement needs more support, including higher wages.

She didn’t mention whether or not she supported Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s funding request to cover more police vehicles, camera surveillance trailers or processing the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits.

KUNM teamed up with media partners New Mexico PBS, NMPoliticalReport and NMpolitics.net to fact-check and annotate the governor’s speech live. Find that here.

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