House Democrats: Bill Seeking To Change Pretrial Detention Passes Committee


House Bill 5, which would make changes to pretrial detention that aim to reduce violent crime in New Mexico, passed the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee with bipartisan support by a vote of 7-2. This bill would prevent individuals charged with violent felonies from causing more harm in their communities while awaiting trial, by requiring suspects accused of murder, gun crimes, rape or other sex crimes to prove to a judge that they are safe to be released until trial. HB 5 is targeted and narrowly tailored to the most serious violent offenses. The presumption  statute will not apply to non-violent, low-end offenders who can be safely monitored while awaiting trial. 

“We can’t ignore that pretrial detention impacts the levels of violence in the state,” said Representative Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque). “This legislation should make our communities safer by not allowing those charged with dangerous crimes the opportunity to commit more violence before trial.”

HB 5 is sponsored by Representatives Matthews, Meredith A. Dixon (D-Albuquerque),  and William “Bill” R. Rehm  (R-Albuquerque), and Senator Linda M. Lopez (D-Albuquerque). 

The bill will now advance to the House Judiciary Committee.

The Roundhouse is open to the public for the session. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the building. Members of the public can view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.