Sam Redman's Musings

Random thoughts on a variety of subjects

Surely it’s less than 85%

I saw a passing mention in a FOX “news” article saying that

…under NM state law Wayne Bent must serve 85% of his 10 year prison sentence before he will be eligible for parole.

But, the only actual descriptions in citable references, which I can find about the 85 percent requirement, are in articles about the “New Mexico Earned Meritorious Deduction/Truth in Sentencing law,” passed in 1999, which says that “serious violent offenders” must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.”  Here is one reference to that:

I thought that perhaps, a sex offense fell under the same umbrella as a violent offender (but I found out that is not true). The substantiation for that can be found in the code (you can find it in the reference at the end of this post).

There are situations in other states, which I am aware of, for earning “good time” considerations (especially for non-violent crimes). Offenders can often earn sentence deductions for certain activities such as completing educational or mental health programs. Plus, there is sometimes a detailed formula, like they have in Oregon, where for example, one day is deducted for every two days served. Also (in Oregon), one day is deducted for every 15 days of work in the prison industry or for meritorious service (it’s 1 for 7 for teaching a class, something Bent might do).  Here is a reference to that Oregon article:

Since Oregon and other states also have “minimum time for violent offender” rules, similar to New Mexico… it makes me wonder if New Mexico doesn’t also have one of these “good time equals time off” systems in place as well. It would be great if we could get the whole story on this.  Here is a link to the site with the New Mexico codes about meritorious deductions, which included the detailed definition about who qualifies to be considered  a  “serious violent offender.”

— Sam


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This entry was posted on January 8, 2009 by and tagged , , , .