In March the New Mexico state Legislature unanimously passed a bill that would basically eliminate what critics call “policing for profit,” the ability of law enforcement agencies to seize cars, cash and other property police say were used in committing a crime. The practice originated in the 1980s as a tool to fight back against big drug dealers, but civil liberties groups on the right and left of the political spectrum say the lure of big money has now corrupted government agencies, who use the law to pad their coffers.
Three groups called for homeless people and people with mental illnesses to be represented in the process to reform the Albuquerque Police Department. Last week the groups filed a motion in federal court.
In this era of modern medicine, the dying process can be prolonged. Can doctors legally prescribe fatal medications to terminally ill patients who request them?
That issue was at the heart of an Appeals Court hearing in New Mexico this week.
Over the last 40 years, intensive care units and advances in medicine have stretched out the final days of our lives. Sometimes recovery is possible. But in other cases, it becomes a question of comfort.
District Court Judge Nan Nash ruled a year ago that physicians in New Mexico should be able to prescribe life-ending medications to terminally ill patients. This practice is called “aid in dying,” and the distinction is patients administer the medication themselves.
The hole. That’s what they call it on television. It’s the mind-shattering pit fictional prisoners will do anything to avoid.
In real life, human rights advocates say New Mexico needs to cut back on using solitary confinement as a punishment method—especially for people coping with mental illnesses. Prison officials agree that it should be used less often, though most take issue with the way it’s portrayed in prison dramas.
Aja Riggs is on the road, visiting family and friends, and taking in some of the most beautiful natural places in the United States. She particularly loves what she calls "freaky natural things," like boiling mud coming out of the ground in Yellowstone and the organ pipe cacti near the Mexico border in Arizona.
"I'm kind of part-jokingly calling my travels my 'No Regrets Remission Tour,' " she laughs.
A District Court judge ruled today that it's legal for doctors in New Mexico to prescribe medication so patients with terminal illnesses can end their own lives.
Judge Nan Nash wrote: "If decisions made in the shadow of one's imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, then what decisions are?"