September 20, 2016

Thousands sign petition to Gov., Legislators opposing death penalty plan for NM

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ProgressNow New Mexico

Update: Friday, Sept. 30, 2016:

Friday morning, our team at ProgressNow printed out almost 2,000 pages with messages like yours from New Mexicans opposing the Governor’s new death penalty plan.

Gov. Martinez & Legislators: Don’t create a new death penalty for New Mexico: http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/gov-martinez-legislators

We marched right up to the 4th Floor of the Roundhouse and personally delivered them to the Governor’s office, then gave copies to members of the House Judiciary Committee which heard the bill that same day.

death penalty petition delivery

That’s a good first step, but we can’t stop there.

That same day, we started reviewing the bill and found big problems with the death penalty draft no one else had written about.  Those headlines made their way into the floor debate, along with your petitions, on the bill later that evening.

But House Republicans pushed on and passed the bill out of committee. Now we get ready for a bigger fight.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates live from the Special Session.


New Mexico – Today Governor Martinez announced her intent to seek a special legislative session to restore New Mexico’s death penalty, in spite of more than 2,000 New Mexicans who have already joined an online petition to the Governor and legislators opposing the plan.

ProgressNow New Mexico, the petition sponsor and New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy organization, will deliver the petitions in person to Governor Martinez and legislators on the opening day of the legislative session.  Electronic copies of each signature have already gone to the governor and legislators.

“While New Mexico continues to be mired in economic woes and hovering at the bottom of major indices around education, job growth, and poverty, Martinez has trotted out a tried and true political hail mary to distract voters and legislators by calling for a reinstatement of the death penalty. Despite overwhelming evidence that such draconian laws do little to curb violent crime, top Republicans around the state have echoed the governor’s call in what is clearly election year hijinks,” says Lucas Herndon of ProgressNowNM.

New Mexicans have joined the organic petition by sharing it online and within their own networks to build grassroots opposition.  The petition has seen a growth in signers each time news of a potential call by the governor is announced.

death penalty petition

“Don’t take our criminal justice system backwards. Oppose a new death penalty for New Mexico.”
ProgressNowNM in partnership with MoveOn.org

“Everyday people know that we can’t prosecute our way to prosperity and, as a police officer, I knew that criminals rarely think of the consequences when they commit our most heinous crimes, ” says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow and a former police officer.

“Yet, New Mexico is the only state in the country working to build new prisons and reinstate 19th-century penalties.  Our governor even had a press conference to announce the closure of teen drug treatment centers while preparing to open more cells on death row. This makes no sense.”

Earlier this month, Bernalillo County’s District Attorney, Kari Brandenburg, shared her opposition to the death penalty.  She is the last prosecutor in the state to try a capital offense when Michael Astorga was convicted for the murder of Sheriff’s Deputy James McGrane.

The governor’s call for the reinstatement has made national news as lawmakers are poised to return to Santa Fe for a special session that was intended to focus on the fiscal crises facing the state going into next year.

What is ProgressNowNM?  Founded in 2012, ProgressNow New Mexico serves more than 100,000 New Mexico email and social media subscribers with progressive news and campaigns to connect voters to policy makers.