Victims' Families First
We have repealed the death penalty in New Mexico, and now we want to put murder victims' family members first!
When murder happens it is the family of the victim that suffers the most and the longest-yet our criminal justice system is focused on the murderer. NM Repeal believes that it is time for the focus to return to the family to address the harsh realities of losing a loved one to murder.
That's why we support legislation that creates an innovative package of services for the families of murder victims.
Many family members who have lost a loved one to murder oppose the death penalty. You can find out a little bit about who they are here.
The state of New Mexico spent between $3 and $4 million per year on its capital punishment system. Death penalty prosecutions and appeals are complex, lengthy, and, as a result, extremely expensive. You can read more about the cost of the death penalty here.
Now that we have repealed the death penalty we believe the wise public policy choice is to use those savings to support the victims of crime and protect our communities. That's why our legislative sponsor, Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque), has proposed the Catastrophic Crime and Family Restitution Program which would:
- Expand eligibility for a "homicide survivors program" within the current Crime Victims Reparation Commission that offers a range of comprehensive services to murder victims' family members including crisis intervention, grief counseling, child specific services, funeral assistance, crime scene cleanup, and emergency funds.
- Enact a new Employee Leave for Crime Victims that provides employee protections and encourages victim participation in court proceedings for crime victims by establishing a law to grant unpaid leave for victims when they must take time from work to attend court.
- Provide a survivors policy for child age 25 and under who have lost a parent to murder.