NEW MEXICO (USA): HOUSE VOTES TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY
|New Mexico governor Bill Richardson
February 11, 2009: the New Mexico House of Representatives voted to abolish New Mexico's death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without parole. The legislation passed on a vote of 40-28, and headed to the Senate. Twice before, in 2005 and 2007, the House approved a death penalty repeal only to have it fail in the Senate.
This year, supporters are hoping for a different outcome as there are new members in that chamber. "If everyone who told us they would vote with us stays, we will pass the Senate," predicted Viki Elkey, executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty.
A final hurdle would be Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, who has been a supporter of capital punishment in the past. Asked about it this week, he said only, "I'll take a look at it."
There are two men on death row, Robert Fry of Farmington and Timothy Allen of Bloomfield, whose executions would not be prevented by the passage of the bill. (Sources: Montgomery Advertiser, 12/02/2009)