Pardons for 19 New Mexico criminals, some who were violent
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pardoned 19 people for convictions ranging from cocaine trafficking to domestic violence, bribing a witness and shoplifting, her office announced Friday.
The pardons were signed Monday and represent the third round of clemency decisions for Lujan Grisham since the Democratic governor took office in January 2019. She has now pardoned 50 people overall.
Nonviolent offenses such as fraud, burglary and telephone harassment dominate the list of pardoned convictions. But clemency was granted to four people linked to violent crime for shooting into a dwelling, domestic violence, battery and aggravated assault.
“Nearly all of the offenses were at least a decade old, some dating back several decades,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
The governor’s pardoning power extends to all crimes committed under state law except for impeachment and treason.
New Mexico’s governor does not have the authority to pardon convictions for violations of municipal ordinances or for violations from other states or federal convictions.
Lujan Grisham’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, pardoned just three people during her eight years in office. Martinez denied at least 72 pardon applications, including 13 in which the state Parole Board had recommended approval.
Parole Board recommendations for those people who benefited from the most recent round of pardons were not immediately available on Friday. Requests were referred to the Parole Board, which did not respond to telephone and email messages.
Lujan Grisham spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said her administration has denied 130 applications from clemency for nearly 300 pardon applications, including many that were left over from the previous administration. Some decisions are pending on applications that still lack complete information, Sackett said.
Lujan Grisham has announced that she will seek re-election in 2022.