Public safety expert, District Attorney testify in support of keeping potentially dangerous offenders behind bars pending trial
SANTA FE – Today, Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman and Department of Public Safety Deputy Secretary Benjamin A. Baker provided expert testimony during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Governor’s proposal to reform pre-trial detention. Lawmakers heard from attorneys and law enforcement professionals on Monday afternoon about the critical importance of reforming the state’s pretrial detention system during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It’s incredibly difficult to explain to the victims of a violent crime why the perpetrator was allowed to go free on an ankle monitor before violently reoffending,” said Benjamin A. Baker, Deputy Secretary of the Public Safety Department. “This is not just an Albuquerque problem – I hear the same things from constituents and law enforcement officers around the state.”
“We are all 100% clear that every New Mexican is innocent until proven guilty – there’s no question there,” said Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman. “I fully support a rebuttable presumption that keeps a potentially dangerous criminal behind bars when no conditions will reasonably protect the safety of those in the community. I’m asking the Legislature to make this the year we fix this.”
“I fully understand the importance of balancing the rights of the accused and the rights of the public,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This legislation threads that needle, ensuring a safer New Mexico in the process. I look forward to continuing to work with legislators to get this bill across the finish line.”