KUNM

Bail Bondsmen Back Governor On Bail Amendment Repeal

Oct 19, 2017

Governor Susana Martinez called this week for lawmakers to repeal a bail bond amendment during next year’s legislative session and bail bondsmen are on board with her effort.

More than 80 percent of New Mexico voters approved the amendment to the state constitution last year that gave judges more lee-way when determining whether to set or deny bail for defendants.

Bail bondsman Gerald Madrid praised the governor. He said voters were duped and didn’t understand what the amendment would do.

“I’m very pleased she had the political courage to stand up and say that and to do that," Madrid said, “because we’re absolutely headed down the wrong path right now as a community.”

Madrid said too many repeat offenders don't have to post bail to get out of jail and that several bail bond companies have shut down as a result.

Supporters say defendants who don’t endanger the community shouldn’t be detained just because they can’t pay and that the amendment helps protect defendant’s rights.

Two thirds of the state House and Senate would need to vote to put a repeal on a state-wide ballot – then voters would decide from there.