"I am working to enforce the criminal laws duly passed by our legislative representatives, while implementing criminal justice reforms mandated by Supreme Court rule, in a manner that is respectfully mindful of the rights and responsibilities of everyone engaged in, and affected by, the criminal justice process."
WHAT GERALD BYERS STANDS FOR
Victims of enumerated crimes in New Mexico possess specific rights guaranteed by our state constitution. My administration will give substantive meaning to those rights through complete, consistent, and honest interaction with victims at every stage of the criminal justice process. Starting point: just as there is no such thing as an “alleged” defendant; there’s no such thing as an “alleged” victim.
In the criminal justice context, restitution is the full or partial payment of actual monetary damages to a crime victim. Such monetary compensation is based on quantifiable and verified financial loss to the victim due to the criminal act. While financial recovery alone rarely makes a crime victim whole; vigorous acquisition of restitution increases the value of accountability obtained by criminal conviction.
DIGNIFYING THE JUSTICE PROCESS
A bedrock feature of American, and New Mexican society is a criminal justice system which effectively balances the need for public security within our communities and the rights of the individual accused of crimes. For minor criminal offenses, my administration will consider case resolution by use of diversionary programs where feasible. However; we will also pursue significant criminal penalties for exceptionally heinous offenses where such a disposition is either warranted or mandatory.
MAINTAINING PROSECUTION INTEGRITY
“Conviction integrity units” which seek to exonerate wrongfully convicted inmates are commendable but effective only after an injustice has happened. My “Prosecution Integrity Program” seeks to eliminate the potential of a wrongful conviction in the first place. By focusing on early, diligent and in-depth analysis of admissible evidence, in the formative stages of the case; the resulting prosecution is more likely to be error free, and less inclined to suffer from a “rush to judgment”.
ACTIVELY EVALUATION MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS
Mental health and controlled substance dependency issues invariably arise in the administration of criminal justice. One goal is to work within the established legal framework to reduce possible recidivist behaviors by diverting those individuals to community resource providers as opposed to solution by incarceration. Another vital effort is working with state and local government leaders to facilitate acquisition of local public services.
SUPPORTING THE RULE OF LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY
Honoring crime victims and respecting the rights of criminal defendants are not mutually exclusive concepts. District attorneys are obligated to do so. We will seek to accomplish both simultaneously and by doing so uphold the rule of law, maximize public safety, and initiate a restoration of confidence in and respect for the criminal justice system in New Mexico.
FOCUSING ATTENTION ON EVIDENCE-BASED PROSECUTION
Advances in science and technology have greatly improved the quantity and quality of available evidence. Wherever possible we will always pursue the acquisition, evaluation, and presentation of forensic and tangible evidence in property crimes and crimes against persons.