New Mexico News Podcast

COVID Intensifies Backlog In New Mexico’s Justice System

February 1, 2022

By now, there’s a good chance you’ve either seen or felt the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses, schools and government just to name a few. But for anyone wrapped up in legal issues, the pandemic has been monumentally disruptive. From criminal trials to civil cases, defendants have seen their court hearings suddenly postponed or seemingly delayed indefinitely. This week on the podcast, Chris & Gabby talk to some of the people working through what they’re calling a ‘crisis-level’ backlog of cases in New Mexico's courts. Two criminal defense attorneys with the New Mexico Law Office of the Public Defender join the conversation along with a New Mexico civil attorney. On the criminal side, some attorneys are juggling way more cases than they're used to and prepping for trials that are getting pushed back for half a year. On the civil side, some decisions are taking up to 10 months to be heard, all while their clients hang in the balance. Is this sustainable? What needs to change? 

We want to hear from you! If you have a story idea, send it to chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com. Also, catch the hosts on Twitter at @ChrisMcKeeTV and @gburkNM.  For more on this episode and all of our prior work, visit our website: KRQE.com/podcasts.

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