A large majority of likely voters in New Mexico want to end the state’s bail law, which allows accused felons to be quickly released from jail after arrest. The law has been in effect since 2017 and was previously backed by Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In 2017, voters approved a constitutional amendment that makes it harder for courts to keep accused felons in jail before trial. As NBC News described it, the law “almost entirely eliminates[s] cash deposit.
A Albuquerque Journal Polling finds 85% of likely voters in New Mexico want to overturn the law to make it easier for courts to lock up accused felons before trial. Only 4% said they opposed changing the law.
In nearly every voting demographic group in New Mexico, the Log United States, more than 80% of voters want the law changed.
Lujan Grisham supported the law in 2020.
“I support the constitutional amendment that said, ‘You don’t keep the poor behind bars because they are poor.’ It is right, and it is part of the constitutional amendment,” Lujan Grisham said at the time.
Now, as she faces a tough re-election bid against Republican Mark Ronchetti, Lujan Grisham says she wants changes to ensure accused violent felons stay behind bars after arrest.
The law is now so unpopular that 76% of self-identified liberals support changing the law, along with 87% of self-identified moderates. About 93% of Conservative voters said they also wanted the law changed.
“Probable voters are clearly expressing some frustration with the high crime rate,” said Brian Sanderoff of Research & Polling Inc. .”
The main drivers of crime in New Mexico, voters told pollsters, are drugs, poverty and the law allowing the widespread release of accused felons after arrest. Minor sentences handed down by state judges are also a major driver of criminality, voters said.
The Albuquerque Journal poll surveyed more than 500 likely New Mexico voters from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.