Greetings From New Mexico! On Friday, March 13, 2009, the New Mexico Senate voted 24-18 to repeal the death penalty in New Mexico and replace it with a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. House Bill 285 passed the house last month and now goes to Gov. Bill Richardson for his signature. When Governor Richardson signs this bill, New Mexico will become the second state in as many years to legislatively abolish the death penalty. As I listened to the debate in the gallery of the New Mexico Senate this afternoon, I could not help but feel grateful and proud to be representing your National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty on this historic day. NCADP is a partner to its affiliate, the New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty, and I was there in my role as Director of Affiliate Support to watch the culmination of years of tireless work that brought us to this day.

Our work is not yet done. I am writing to ask you to take a few minutes right now to contact New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and ask him to sign House Bill 285 as soon as possible. Governor Richardson's office has set up a hotline to receive the opinions of New Mexicans (and anyone else) on the issue. That number is 505-476-2225. Those wishing to weigh in via e-mail can do so through the governor's web site and clicking on "Contact the Governor."

"This is an extremely difficult issue that deserved the serious and thoughtful debate it received in the Legislature," Richardson said in a prepared statement. "I have met with many people and will continue to consider all sides of the issue before making a decision." Please take action RIGHT NOW to urge Governor Richardson to sign HB 285, the Death Penalty Repeal Bill, whether you live in New Mexico or anywhere else. Especially if you know people who live in New Mexico, please forward this message and urge them to take action immediately. Thank you.

A few additional thoughts:
Channel 7 (ABC affiliate) has a poll on repeal -- ABC -- look under "as seen on 7" on the left side of the page, and click to vote!
Please visit NCADP's blog to see some photos of a few of the many key players who helped make this happen.
Check out NCADP on Twitter to see my "tweets" - short comments I made as sort of a play by play as the day went on. While there you can sign up to follow NCADP on Twitter.

And finally, please make a generous contribution today to help NCADP continue to be a useful partner to the efforts of our affiliates, the folks who are on the front lines every day in this struggle. New Jersey in 2007. New Mexico and possibly others in 2009. And many others with much work still to do. Your support makes it happen. Thank you.

Yours in the Struggle,


Abraham J. Bonowitz
Director of Affiliate Support
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty