By BARRY MASSEY
SANTA FE - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democratic Attorney General Gary King, who are likely political adversaries in the 2014 gubernatorial election, may find common ground in trying to change New Mexico's sex offender registration law in response to a recent ruling (PDF) by the state's highest court.
At issue is whether out-of-state sex offenders must register in New Mexico for the crimes they committed in other states.
The state Supreme Court ruled last week that a Las Cruces man can withdraw his guilty plea to a felony for not registering as a sex offender after moving to New Mexico in 2006. Under state law, offenders must register with law enforcement if they've been convicted of certain sex crimes in New Mexico or the equivalents of those crimes in other states.
The court sent the case back to the district court in Dona Ana County, saying there wasn't enough evidence to determine if [name withheld]'s sex offense in California was the same as a New Mexico sex crime requiring registration. [name withheld] had been required to register as a sex offender in California for a misdemeanor conviction of "annoying or molesting" a child.
The governor and attorney general are considering asking the Legislature next year to clarify registration requirements for out-of-state sex offenders who move to New Mexico. Spokesman for Martinez and King said their offices haven't yet developed specific proposals.