NM Senate OKs bill to stop forcing police to erase evidence

New Mexico

New Mexico Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, talks to a staffer on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, at the Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A measure that would stop police from having to destroy seized electronic evidence that was obtained through a search warrant but wasn’t the target of an investigation has passed the New Mexico Senate.

The proposal unanimously approved Sunday seeks to fix a bill passed in 2018 that required law enforcement to wipe out some digital evidence.

The requirement may have affected some pending cases in Albuquerque, where crime has soared in recent years.

Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto of Albuquerque says the change is needed because law enforcement has no choice but to eradicate this evidence after 30 days.

The new bill allows police to seal the evidence and get a court order to use it in an unrelated investigation.

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