Three new NM Supreme Court decisions today

Today the New Mexico Supreme Court issued the following decisions:

1.  State v. Davis. In an opinion by Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes, the Court held that 72-year old defendant Norman Davis voluntarily consented to a search of his property for marijuana, despite the fact that six or seven heavily armed law enforcement officers carrying A-15 semi-automatic weapons confronted him while a police helicopter hovered overhead, and his home was surrounded by government vehicles to create a secure perimeter.

This case has previously received negative attention from critics of the Drug War due to the over-the-top, military style nature of the raid (see this post from the libertarian Hit & Run Blog, and this story by Vic Vela in the Albuquerque Journal from 2011).

UPDATE (June 14, 2013): Tom Sharpe has this story about the Supreme Court’s decision in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

UPDATE: (June 19, 2013): Mark Oswald has this story about the case in the Albuquerque Journal.

2.  State v. Gurule. The Court held that where police learned that defendants were accessing child pornography over the internet, and obtained a warrant to search their home for evidence, the warrant allowed police to search images on a camera found in the home. The Court also held that certain out-of-court statements made against the defendants were not offered in violation of the Confrontation Clause, but remanded with instructions to determine whether those statements were admissible under the Rules of Evidence. This opinion was also written by Chief Justice Maes.

UPDATE: (June 14, 2013): Scott Sandlin has this report about this search & seizure decision in the Albuquerque Journal.

3.  In re Naranjo. The Court held, in an “Opinion and Public Censure” written by Justice Charles Daniels, that a 90-day suspension would be imposed on Socorro County Magistrate Judge James Naranjo. When his stepson was arrested for nonpayment of child support, Judge Naranjo contacted the judge presiding over the case ex parte and asked that he reduce the stepson’s bail or release him from jail. This case also has been the subject of attention from the press (see this story by Laura London in the Socorro Defensor-Chieftain).

 

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