Governor pardons 19 people, some violent convictions

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pardoned 19 people for convictions ranging from cocaine trafficking to domestic violence, bribing a witness and shoplifting, her office announced Friday.

The pardons, signed Monday, represent the third round of clemency decisions since the Democratic governor took office in January 2019. She has now pardoned 50 individuals in all.

Nonviolent offenses such as fraud, burglary and telephone harassment dominate the list of pardoned convictions. In addition, clemency was provided in four instances linked to violent crime for shooting into a dwelling, domestic violence, battery and aggravated assault.

“Nearly all of the offenses were at least a decade old, some dating back several decades,” the governor’s office said in a news release.

The governor’s pardoning power extends to all crimes committed under state law other than the offenses of impeachment and treason. The governor does not have authority to pardon convictions for violations of municipal ordinances or from other jurisdictions, such as convictions from other states and federal convictions.

Lujan Grisham’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, pardoned a total of just three people during her eight years in office. Martinez denied at least 72 pardon applications, including 13 in which the state Parole Board recommended approval.

Parole Board recommendations were not immediately available Friday for the newly pardoned individuals. Lujan Grisham is seeking re-election in 2022.