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Feb 21 New Mexico Proposes Raising Penalties for Human Trafficking

posted Feb 21, 2013, 8:05 AM by Saul Castellanos   [ updated May 7, 2013, 6:23 AM ]
NEW MEXICO -  Governor. Susana Martinez is proposing legislation to increase penalties for human trafficking which is currently headed to the Senate for debate and consideration.

This proposed legislation would make it  a first-degree felony for human trafficking in cases where the victim was under the age of 16. Convictions for this crime could include a basic sentence of 18 years in imprisonment.   This is double the current  penalty because the crime is proposed being increased from a  lesser felony.

Included is a provision for convictions of Human Trafficking if the victim is older than 16 years of age.  In this case the proposed legislation would  triple the current penalty to nine years in prison.  This bill was unanimously approved by the House on Friday before being sent to the Senate for debate.

Governor Martinez pointed out that it is common for people to think of Human Trafficking as an overseas issue, rather than something that happens in New Mexico.

photo credit: Steve Terrell