state of civil and political rights:
death row: New Mexico abolished the death penalty in March 2009, but law was not made retroactive so 2 remain on death row. (as of April 1, 2013, source: DPIC)
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
On July 1, 2009, new laws go into effect around the country. That includes New Mexico's ban on the death penalty that made headlines around the world. Though the law goes into effect, executions can still take place. Capital punishment can be sought for accused murderers who have already been indicted. The repeal does not apply to people already on death row.
Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat who formerly supported capital punishment, said signing the bill was the "most difficult decision" of his political life but that "the potential for ... execution of an innocent person stands as anathema to our very sensibilities as human beings." The Senate passed the bill 24-18 on March 13, while the House had approved it 40-28 on Feb. 11. Once in effect, the most severe punishment will be a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Since 1960, New Mexico has executed only one person, Terry Clark, in 2001.