Governor Richardson has until tonight at midnight to take action on House BIll 285, a the New Mexico legislature placed on his desk that would abolish the death penalty in his state. Yesterday, his office sent out this press release:
Governor Bill Richardson continues to hear from New Mexicans about a bill to repeal the death penalty and today released details on the more than 9,400 calls, emails and walk-ins he’s received on the issue. The Governor has heard from a total of 9,413 constituents who voiced their opinion on House Bill 285. Of those, 7169 were FOR the repeal of the death penalty and 2244 were AGAINST.
After lawmakers passed the bill on Friday, the Governor urged New Mexicans to call and email him on their thoughts of the bill. The Governor then met with more than 100 New Mexicans at his office on Monday, many of which had concerns either pro or con, the repeal of the death penalty. [emphasis mine]
That sounds like great news, that the citizens who weighed in were in favor of abolishing the death penalty by a margin of 3-1. Lest we get complacent, here again are the ways to contact the Governor:
Today, the Death Penalty Info Center has an update on the recent flurry of legislative activity around the country regarding the death penalty.
Many states are considering bills to abolish, reform, or expand the death penalty during current legislative sessions. Some recent developments include: New Mexico’s bill to abolish the death penalty passed the House and Senate and is awaiting Gov. Richardson's decision and signature, likely to come on March 18. In Colorado, a bill to abolish the death penalty and use the resources to pursue cold cases passed the House Judiciary Committee 7-4. In Kansas, the bill to abolish the death penalty passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 6-5, but the Senate voted to return the bill for further study. In Maryland, the bill to abolish the death penalty went to the full Senate where an amendment was passed to keep the death penalty but to require a higher standard of proof for guilt in capital cases. That amended bill is being considered by the House on March 17. Montana’s bill to abolish the death penalty passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, passed the Senate 27-23, and faces a House Judiciary Committee hearing March 25. A bill in Utah to allow the legislature to restrict death penalty appeals failed in the House.