On Saturday, former District Attorney for the First Judicial District, Democrat Maro Serna, broke his silence on current district attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies letting rioters who toppled the Soldiers’ Monument obelisk go scot-free with no jail time.
Carmack-Altwies said her “restorative justice” approach was “supposed to bring both sides together and get everyone to come to a resolution or conclusion about what they should do as part of their punishment. And it is a punishment.” She added, “It’s not punitive, necessarily, in that it’s not jail. But it is a punishment — they have to participate in this. And if they drop out and they don’t do it, then we lift the stay and prosecution keeps going.”
At the time, Carmack-Altwies claimed the toppling of the obelisk was “a political problem that got forced upon the criminal justice system” in the defense of her weak prosecutorial decision to let the criminals slide.
Some pointed out her tone-deaf comments, with one person writing, “Well, I suppose the storming of the national capitol was ‘a political problem that got forced upon the criminal justice system’ too. For that matter, were the bombings of abortion clinics, vandalism of fur farms, and burning of draft offices ‘political problems’? No. They were crimes.”
But Serna, who immediately preceded Carmack-Altwies by choosing to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat instead of seeking reelection as district attorney, wrote, “I cannot sit idly by as actual justice is averted under the guise of ‘restorative justice.’ When the mob descended on our beloved Plaza with the intent to cause destruction, I, like many others, was committed to bringing the vandals to justice.”
At the time I was district attorney, and when the parties were identified and charged, I indicated I would move forward with full prosecution. I am no longer DA but instead a community member who is deeply concerned with the actions of my successor. Justice is not being served. That District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies is attempting to use pre-prosecution diversion as a front for restorative justice is dishonest and destructive to the program.
Pre-prosecution diversion is intended to help those struggling with substance abuse, mental health diagnoses, endemic social injustice and other factors that unfortunately lead our residents to crime. Everyone who goes through pre-prosecution diversion must write a letter admitting to what they did. But these defendants, many of whom are from out of town, destroyed public property in a riot-type setting. To be clear, the destruction of the obelisk was not a peaceful protest. In addition, these criminals intimidated police and, shamefully, Mayor Alan Webber would not send backup. To dismiss these cases under a cloak of darkness and the misuse of pre-prosecution diversion is unacceptable and an abuse of power. I am completely in favor of pre-prosecution diversion as well as restorative justice; however, this is not it. It is a perversion of justice to serve political ambitions.
Other sacred monuments across New Mexico have been destroyed by the left-wing mob, including the desecration of the statue of Fray Angelico Chavez which sits outside the History Museum in Santa Fe, the bronze statue of Don Diego de Vargas, who peacefully reconquered Santa Fe, statues of Don Juan de Oñate, among other monuments that hold historic value in New Mexico.