Lujan Grisham signs bill giving life-sentenced minors chance of parole
On Friday, the day before the 2023 Legislative Session adjourned, Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed S.B. 64 by Rep. Gail Chasey and Sen. Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez (D-Bernalillo), which would give inmates sentenced as juveniles the opportunity for parole after 15 years in some cases.
The bill would even give school shooters, rapists, and other criminals sentenced from age 14 to 17 the opportunity for a parole hearing. This would include if the then-juvenile was tried and convicted as an adult.
On the House floor Monday, Republicans unsuccessfully tried to add amendments to the bill.
Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) wrote on Twitter following her amendment being tabled, “Bad bills are usually heard after midnight — right on cue, Dems presented a bill to allow early parole of 20 years for minors who willfully and deliberately premediate a murder. I presented an amendment to exclude those that RAPE and murder a child, Dems said no.”
Another amendment offered by Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo) would have exempted mass shooters from being eligible for parole. That amendment also died.
“Late last night and early this morning (11:16 pm yesterday to 2:16 am today), we debated SB64 letting mass shooters/rapists/other life-sentenced criminals convicted as minors get parole hearings. Dems passed it and killed my amendment excluding mass shooters,” wrote Block.
Rep. Andrea Reeb (R-Clovis) offered an amendment extending the parole deadlines in the bill. Democrats killed that amendment.
The bill allows the inmate to get a parole hearing every four years, which Republicans noted would “revictimize” the families of those harmed or victims themselves.
Another measure, S.B. 29 by Sen. Bill O’Neill (D-Bernalillo), “allows early parole for anyone over 55 with an ‘age-related disease,’ which, according to WHO, includes hearing loss, cataracts, back/neck pain, osteoarthritis, diabetes, depression, etc.,” according to Rep. Lord.
Lord offered an amendment to O’Neill’s bill that would exempt pedophiles from being eligible for early parole, but “Dems said no,” she wrote.
Despite a massive crime wave plaguing New Mexico, especially Albuquerque, Democrats failed to pass much meaningful crime legislation targeting criminals. They instead opted to reward criminals with early parole and target law-abiding gun owners in bills such as H.B. 9, which passed and was signed by Gov. Lujan Grisham.
During the 2023 Legislative Session, over 200 bills passed. It is unclear how many the governor will sign. She has until April 7, 2023, to act upon the passed legislation, or else it will be “pocket vetoed,” meaning it will be discarded due to inaction.