New Mexico Legislature Votes to Repeal the Death Penalty

The New Mexico Senate voted on March 13 to repeal the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole. The vote was 24-18. The House of Representatives had previously voted in favor of repeal. The bill will now go to New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson for his signature. He has not announced whether he will sign the bill, but has indicated a new openness to the repeal effort. Many victims’ families members in New Mexico had supported the repeal.

If signed into law, New Mexico would become the 15th state to abandon capital punishment. New York and New Jersey ended the death penalty in 2007. The bill can be read in full here.

See Recent Legislative Activity.