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Bail reform challenge dismissed by federal court judge (2017)

SANTA FE - A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging reforms to New Mexico’s system of pretrial release and detention of criminal defendants.

“The federal court ruling recognizes the lawfulness of New Mexico's bail reform efforts to better protect public safety and improve the fairness of the state’s pretrial justice system,” Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, said.

“The commercial bail industry's lawsuit sought to force our state to go back to a money-based bail system that released dangerous defendants who could buy a bail bond while jailing non-dangerous defendants simply for lack of money,” Pepin said on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell issued the ruling on Monday against a lawsuit brought by the Bail Bond Association of New Mexico, several legislators and an Albuquerque woman who was charged with aggravated assault.

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