Tuesday, 23 October 2018 16:11

2018 Election: 'Setting the Record Straight' on Judicial Retention Races

When considering the judges races, those with a 'Retain' or 'Do Not Retain' question, NMBC takes exception to the report put out by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC). JPEC receives nearly $300,000 of taxpayer money to spend however they want in distributing their report. It turns out JPEC has no particular standard for their ratings - we called the office and heard that directly from them. So even though a judge scores high by all those who respond to a survey, a 'Do not Retain' recommendation can be made based on their interview 'performance' with the JPEC committee. See the JPEC recommendations HERE.

Is this of value to taxpayers? You decide when you consider the following:

  1. 1) The graph shows the percentage of approval votes in the following categories: a) Attorneys – trial attorneys; b) Court staff; c) Resource staff – police officers that have cases before these judges.
  1. 2) Would you rather have attorneys happy with a judge or cops?

The Bernalillo County Report gives a big red “DO NOT RETAIN” to three judges that we find particularly troublesome: Edward L. Benavidez, Michelle Castillo Dowler and Kenny C. Montoya. Full disclosure: NMBC does not have a formal process for scoring judges and we have not had a staff member sit in their court room to hear them decide cases.

What we find interesting is that they all scored above average for Court staff and police officers, but had a lower approval ranking from trial attorneys. Hmmm, wonder why they get a thumbs down?

Upon investigation, NMBC found that these three judges may not have followed all the ‘rules’ in some cases, but instead opted to require a bond in order for a suspect to be released back out into the public. What rules, you ask? The worst court rules we’ve ever seen. Those that were killed by NMBC legislatively and then were revived to allow the New Mexico Supreme Court to have permission from voters to write the rules regarding criminals, bail, and jail time. You know the one! The very set of rules that are putting criminals back on the street. The rules, known as ‘Catch and Release,’ that have caused our crime rate to skyrocket.

And these judges refused to follow those awful rules? Say what? Their crime against humanity is that they refused to put criminals on the street without bail? And to make matters worse, when 'questioned' by trail attorneys about their decisions, these judges said the rules are quidelines. These judges showed that their priority was to follow the constitution and protect citizens - not mindlessly follow guideline rules. The audacity!!

NMBC urges voters to take a strong look at the raw data and graphs of these judges. While we respect the job of trial attorneys, we honor the work of our police who put their lives on the line to get these criminals off of the street. If police officers think a judge is doing their job to help keep the criminals away from innocent citizens, (and defense attorneys don't like what the judge is doing), NMBC encourages voters to place more value on the opinion of the police officers.

Name(*)

Invalid Input

Email Address(*)

Invalid Input

Zip Code(*)

Invalid Input

(*)
Refresh
Invalid Input





  • Simple Item 4
  • Simple Item 3
  • 1
  • 2