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KUNM Call In Show 5/18 8a. Many New Mexicans are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. When they break the law for driving under the influence or committing a crime related to their addiction, should they go to jail or into treatment? 

Mark Woodward

When she was running for office, Susana Martinez campaigned on open government and promises of transparency. But journalists here say her administration routinely blocks access to state experts and employees, and won’t respond to questions from news organizations that have published critical stories. According to a lawsuit filed by the Santa Fe Reporter against the governor, that kind of blacklisting is discrimination and censorship.

Lawyers delivered opening statements and the Albuquerque Police Department’s chief took the stand in the first day of the trial for two former officers facing murder charges after killing a homeless camper in 2014. 

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In an ongoing, decades-long conflict about whether public assistance in New Mexico is available to people who need it most, a federal judge has recommended that the Human Services Department secretary be found in contempt of court.

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Court proceedings were paused in a hearing about the slow processing of food stamps applications last week when it seemed like a former state employee could incriminate herself.  A supervisor was set to answer questions about falsified applications when the judge asked if she wanted an attorney of her own.

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How quickly criminal cases work their way through the system has a big impact on defendants’ lives. And it’s been a little over a year since the state Supreme Court first set deadlines to speed things up and clear thousands of backlogged cases in Bernalillo County, the state’s busiest judicial district. The criminal justice system is still adjusting.