Albuquerque

Suspension of grand juries during pandemic led to backlog of felony cases, DA’s office says – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico 2021-07-14 20:16:51 –

“We already knew that the grand jury was important, but COVID confirmed it,” said Adolfo Mendes, head of policy planning for the Second Judicial District Law Firm.

The district attorney’s office said there were few cases of trials, partly because the grand jury was suspended.

Beginning in 2018, the New Mexico Supreme Court has begun phased changes to reduce the use of grand juries in Bernarillo County.

Prosecutors were forced to rely more on preliminary hearings to ensure prosecution against the accused.

At the time, district attorney Raul Torres was not happy with this decision.

“I hope they stop this reduction altogether until they have the opportunity to understand the implications for all resources, the implications for victims, the implications for law enforcement and the costs involved.” He said. 2018.

The district attorneys argue that their data show that the number of cases indicted is decreasing each time the grand jury proceedings are reduced.

Without the grand jury procedure by COVID-19, there would be more than 2,000 felony cases unprocessed.

When the state resumed, the district attorney’s office said it had begun to file more proceedings through the system.

“We started seeing it bounce,” Mendes said. “We are starting to see the number of starts set back. As things open up further and drive the expansion of the grand jury, we will continue to work hard to start all the cases that need to start. . Start, all cases that need to be started. “



Suspension of grand juries during pandemic led to backlog of felony cases, DA’s office says Source link Suspension of grand juries during pandemic led to backlog of felony cases, DA’s office says

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