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Languages Add links. James Calhoun told the Legislature, "Humanity shudders at the thought of capital punishment.
Twelve of those hanged were Mexican nationals. In , the Legislature passed a law making it the state's responsibility, rather than that of the individual county sheriffs, to carry out executions. The method of execution was changed from hanging to electrocution. The state's electric chair was first used in It would be used a total of 7 times between that year and They had about drunk sheriff's posse types in there celebrating.
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It was really a grisly kind of thing. The politicos controlled the tickets. It was kind of like getting tickets to a Lobos-Utah game. By , the method of execution changed again. Gas chambers were now in vogue around the country. But only one person would be executed that way in this state, David Nelson Cooper, who was executed in January David Cargo commuted the sentences of the inmates on death row. In , the U.
Supreme Court struck down death penalty laws, saying capital punishment was administered unevenly by the various states and thus was cruel and unusual punishment. The next year, New Mexico's Legislature overwhelmingly passed a law similar to the old territorial law, making execution automatic for anyone convicted of 1st-degree murder.
Although nobody was executed in New Mexico under that law before it was struck down as unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, 4 members of a California motorcycle gang during that period were sentenced to death for the murder of a man in Albuquerque. The four eventually were exonerated and released after the chief witness admitted she lied on the witness stand and the true killer confessed and led authorities to the murder weapon.
Capital punishment today In , the Legislature passed the current law.
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Only those convicted of 1st-degree murder with aggravating circumstances are eligible for execution. Those circumstances include: killing a law-enforcement officer or a prison guard, killing a fellow inmate, killing while trying to escape from incarceration, murder for hire, murdering to prevent a witness of a crime from testifying and murder while trying to commit rape, kidnapping or child molestation.
Death row began to fill up again. The last time a Santa Fe jury imposed a death sentence was in , when Ricky Garcia, a prison inmate, was sentenced to die for killing a guard. But in November , outgoing Gov. Toney Anaya surprised the nation by commuting the sentences of Garcia and the other four killers awaiting execution. Although he was blasted by many in the state, Anaya on Wednesday said he feels good about the fact the current repeal bill should at least come close to passing.