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May 31, 2019 – A recent decision regarding how felony court cases begin in and around Albuquerque has ignited a heated standoff, with defense attorneys, judges, District Attorney Raúl Torrez and Mayor Tim Keller weighing in. The Court wants to continue reducing grand jury availability and replacing that charging structure with preliminary hearings, which it says is more effective. Torrez and Keller disagree, saying preliminary hearings take up too much time and resources. Gene Grant and the Line opinion panelists debate the issue. 

Line Panelists:
Merritt Allen, owner and executive director, Vox Optima LLC
Jeffrey Candelaria, Konnection Now & host on KKOB
Stephanie Maez, executive director, ProgressNow New Mexico
Cathryn McGill, founder/director, NM Black History Organizing Committee

For Further Reading:

Defense attorneys commend plan to reduce grand juries – by Katy Barnitz, Albuquerque Journal

Letter to New Mexico Supreme Court – from judges Stan Whitaker and Charles W. Brown

DA Torrez Playing With Fire Taking On The Courts – by blogger Pete Dinelli