October 6, 2016

Republican death penalty “selfie” pic going viral

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A shockingly callous image of house republicans posing for a macabre selfie before passing highly contentions legislation (in the middle of the night) to reinstate the death penalty is already going viral.

The image was first captured by Matthew Reichbach of the New Mexico Political Report who Tweeted it out at 12:40 am Thursday.

It was then shared by Representative Javier Martinez after hours of debate on the proposed death penalty bill and shared to his Facebook and Twitter. It has been shared hundreds of times since on both Facebook and Twitter.

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It shows HB 7 co-sponsor, Republican Monica Youngblood, smiling happily with witnesses associated with the bill on the floor of the House. The smiling Youngblood seems giddy to be discussing the prospect of state-sanctioned execution at nearly 1 am. Or maybe she was happy that the discussion of the bill would take place when no one was watching?

The bill’s other co-sponsor, Republican Andy Nuñez of Doña Ana County, was in hot water for other reasons this morning concerning an alarming number of irregularities around his campaign finances. See that story here.

Before debate on the bill itself could begin, legislators spent nearly two hours debating whether or not it was appropriate for the the house to be having the debate in the wee hours of the morning, when little-to-no public scrutiny was around. In the end Republicans had the votes and put the bill up for a vote and passed it through on party lines.

While the senate seems to have taken this special session seriously, convening and passing a budget relatively quickly, house republicans have taken their marching orders from Governor Martinez and other leaders within the party and hijacked discussion around the state’s fiscal crises for their own political gains. With elections four weeks away, it is clear that (literally) posing for political hot-button issues like the death penalty are more important to some legislators than working to solve real world issues.