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March 20, 2009

Local sheriff talking about trying referendum to undo New Mexico's death penalty repeal

Revealing that the death penalty is never easily killed, this AP story reports on comments from a sheriff in New Mexico about his desire to seek a means for reversing the repeal of the death penalty in New Mexico:

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White is looking into the possibility of petitioning to put the repeal of New Mexico's death penalty before the voters.

White said Thursday he's looking at a "reverse referendum" after the 2009 Legislature passed and Gov. Bill Richardson signed a measure that replaces lethal injection with life in prison without possibility of parole. The new law will apply to crimes committed as of July 1. "I think there's a lot of support out there" for an effort to reinstate the death penalty, the sheriff said.

New Mexico's constitution has a referendum provision that allows citizens to try to overrule laws approved by the Legislature. It's very difficult to get such a measure on the ballot. In fact, only three referendums have been on the ballot since statehood in 1912 — the most recent in 1964 — and only one passed, according to the Legislative Council Service.

White said he's been flooded by calls since Richardson signed the bill Wednesday. "Judging from the phone calls I've received, asking, 'What can I do, what can I do,' this is an option afforded to us by law," White said. "Let's look at it and see if it's feasible."...

If death penalty supporters decide to try for a referendum, White said they'd form a committee to follow through. "Let the voters decide," he said.

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March 20, 2009 at 09:44 AM | Permalink


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Darren White is an overzealous blood thirsty idiot. Not traits I look for in a public offical. We, the people, elect legislators to decide on these laws. Darren has LOST his last two elections. A smart person would know that the cost of having a death penalty is extremely prohibitive. Keeping killers in prison is much less expensive than to allow for the long legal process of appealing the death penalty, which is extremely cost prohibitive to the State and takes away our valuable attorney general resources better spent on convicting killers on the streets. Let alone wasting the scarce resources one of the poorest States in the country has available. But NO White doesn't care about those issues, he doesn't care that referendums rarely, if ever pass and that it is extremely expensive to put this crap on the ballot - wasting more of New Mexico's valuable scarce resources. He wants to look like a tough red neck and "kill the bastards". Why doesn't BCSD spend time better investigating crimes such as the East Mountain killer who just got off for murder on nationwide television due to the Sheriff's department's botched investigation than beat a dead horse in pursuing a non-issue since the state hasn't put anyone to death in decades. Stupid!! And this is our Sheriff - good grief!

Posted by: brainiacabq | Apr 14, 2009 12:03:35 AM

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