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New Mexico wants to reinstitute death penalty

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Fourth Estate Staff

Albuquerque, NM, United States (4E) – New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez reportedly wants the state Legislature to reinstitute the death penalty in the state.

New Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2009 and reinstating it could be introduced by January’s session. The decision of Martinez comes after a fugitive from Ohio allegedly shot and killed Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez during a traffic stop. The shooter, Jesse Hanes, now faces first-degree murder charges.

Martinez said in a statement that the person who commits crimes such as killing a police officer or sexually abusing and killing a child should face the ultimate penalty. Martinez added, “People need to ask themselves, if the man who ambushed and killed five police officers in Dallas had lived, would he deserve the ultimate penalty? How about the heartless violent criminals who killed Officer Jose Chavez in Hatch and left his children without their brave and selfless dad? Do they deserve the ultimate penalty? Absolutely.”

She went on to talk about Ashlynne Mike, the 11-year-old from New Mexico, abducted and killed by a man. Martinez said that the person who killed Mike should also face the ultimate punishment.

However, not all are in favor of the return of the death penalty. Peter Simonson , the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico said that the return of the death penalty would move the state backward instead of forward. He said that the death penalty is plagued with racial disparities and is used to execute innocent people with serious mental disabilities and illnesses.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico also believes that reinstating the death penalty would be costly.

The U.S. saw only 49 death sentences last year, which is a 33 percent drop from 2014.

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