Some New Mexico defendants denied public defenders

If you’re arrested in New Mexico, you’re supposed to hear something like this: “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will provided for you.” It’s a constitutional right. But what happens if the state can’t afford your legal counsel, either?

According to the Law Offices of the Public Defender, this is what could happen: Starting this week and through June 30, defendants out of custody and eligible for a contract public defender won’t get one…

The legislature approved a $1.3 million Special Appropriation to close the gap, but “Unfortunately, on April 9, 2015, Governor Martinez line-item vetoed that appropriation,” Alvarado said…

11 thoughts on “Some New Mexico defendants denied public defenders

  1. This topic is near and dear to my heart because of what my job is (which I am not revealing because of it’s rather public nature). The governor has really messed up in vetoing dollars for the public defender and the courts. It is petty politics at its worse. The public defender dared to remove themselves from the executive branch and the courts have ruled against Martinez on many issues, so in a great display of maturity, she spitefully sabotages their budgets. Just the kind of behaviors we want our politicians to display—not!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is rather odd, considering Martinez was a DA. I guess as governor, she’s more concerned about money and budgets than the justice system. (I mean, she’s more concerned about scoring political points.)

      Liked by 2 people

        • I wish I was as sure as you. But judges have made exceptions when it comes to money issues — whether it’s allowing unfettered corporate money and influence, or restricting health care access for poor women. And we all know how judges feel about the drug war… anyone arrested for drugs may have their rights taken away, no matter which rights we’re talking about.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve seen the federal get awfully pissy about representation issues. Even in the worst of cases. I think even Scalia (if it got that far) would side with the defense and the Constitution on that one.

          Liked by 2 people

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