FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2023
Contact: Joaquín Romero
Senator Cliff Pirtle Introduces Monique's Law
SANTA FE – Senator Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) today introduced Monique’s Law, Senate Bill 451, to require parole boards to review electronic transcripts of phone calls when considering the release of an inmate. The bill would also require the auditing and posting of earned time deductions by inmates and those parole board hearings to be publicly webcast. The bill is named after Dominique "Monique" Gonzales who was killed by a former boyfriend, Christopher Beltran, after he was let out on parole, despite making numerous phone calls indicating his intention to commit acts of violence.
“Our justice system failed Monique,” said Senator Pirtle about his bill. “In recorded calls, Christopher Beltran told his associates what he was going to do the moment he was out. Yet, the parole board let him out on the streets in my community. We owe it to the victim’s family and to our communities to make sure this does not happen again, and I urge my colleagues to move this bill quickly."
Nicole Chavez, an advocate for families afflicted by crime in New Mexico, helped spur the effort on behalf of Monique’s family.
“Monique was murdered because the system failed to protect her at multiple stages, even when her killer repeatedly threatened her on recorded prison phone calls,” added Nicole Chavez. “The provisions of Monique’s Law will help ensure that the public is better protected against predators like Christopher Beltran. I promised the family I would be a voice for Monique and to make sure that survivors of homicide are not forgotten. I am thankful to Senator Pirtle for introducing this bill.”
Senate Bill 451 was referred to the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.