The New Mexico Supreme Court has held that lower court rulings that put a man behind bars were not clear. Therefore, the man is entitled to a retrial. The inmate in question was convicted of murder in 2004.
The murder he was said to have committed occurred in 2001. He was 16 years old at the time. He was convicted of felony murder. In its ruling, however, the NMSC stated that it is unclear whether the alleged crime at the time aligned with a narrow list of crimes that constitute felony murder in New Mexico. Because that was not made clear, the man, who is nearing age 40 now, will stand trial again.
Changes in legal theory are complex matters of law
Because there have been changes in the way state law categorizes felony murder, it has created complex issues in certain cases like this one. A district court denied a request from the defendant to change the charge of first-degree murder against him to second-degree murder. The request was denied. It was after the denial that the NMSC ordered the retrial.
A second chance to build a strong defense
It’s not every day that a person convicted of murder in New Mexico is granted a retrial. When this happens, it is a tremendous opportunity for a person to start afresh and build a strong defense strategy. An experienced attorney is a great asset, who can thoroughly review a case and provide guidance and recommendations to help secure the most positive outcome possible.