House passes bill to repeal death penalty
Last Update: 02/12/2007 2:47:08 PM
By: Todd Dukart
A proposal to repeal New Mexico’s death penalty has passed the state House and moves onto the Senate.
The bill passed on Monday on a vote of 41-28.
It faces a challenge in its next steps. Similar bills have failed the Senate, and Gov. Bill Richardson has never been in favor of repealing the death penalty.
Albuquerque representative Gail Chasey sponsored the legislation as she has several times in the past.
In 2005, Chasey’s bill was approved by the House of Representatives but died in the last week of the legislative session when it was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 5-4 vote.
Lawmakers who favor repeal say capital punishment does not deter murderers and is unfairly administered.
There are two men on New Mexico’s death row, and the state has executed only one person since 1960 — Terry Clark, who was executed in 2001 by lethal injection for the 1986 murder of Deena Lynn Gore.
Legislators who favor keeping the death penalty say that shows New Mexico is careful with capital punishment.
There are currently two men on New Mexico’s Death Row, Timothy Allen of Bloomfield and Robert Fry of Farmington.