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New Mexico Attorney General sues 2nd Judicial Court over refusal to release GPS monitoring records

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Second Judicial District Court after the court refused to release public records to KRQE News 13. Investigative Reporter Larry Barker initially submitted a request to the Second Judicial District Court for GPS data to investigate the effectiveness of pretrial services GPS monitoring.

While his request did not ask for actual locations or private, personal information, the request was denied. AG Torrez says this is a direct violation of the act that ensures the public is informed and is able to hold the government accountable. “Unfortunately, we can’t even evaluate how effective pretrial supervision is because members of the media including Larry Barker and other investigative journalists who have asked for access to basic information on how that program works have been denied access,” said Torrez.

He says the district court’s refusal to comply also jeopardizes public safety. He pointed out the recent release of Cristian Bencomo on GPS supervision after he was accused of shooting his stepmom in the middle of a graduation ceremony.

“As things move forward… if the rule we are challenging today remains in place, you won’t be able to know, neither will anyone else whether or not that individual has been complying with his supervision.. you won’t even know what his supervision is,” said Torrez.

He is also asking Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and lawmakers to add this issue to the agenda for the upcoming special session.

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