New MexicoNew Mexico



Competency/ Insanity


If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant has “mental retardation” and that there is not a substantial probability that the defendant will become competent to proceed in a criminal case within a reasonable period of time less than nine months, then the department of health shall perform an evaluation to determine whether the defendant presents a likelihood of serious harm to himself or a likelihood of serious harm to others. If so, commitment proceedings should begin. "Mental retardation" is defined as “significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior. An intelligence quotient of seventy or below on a reliably administered intelligence quotient test shall be presumptive evidence of mental retardation.” NM Stat. § 31-9-1.6

Procedure for finding of competency and incompetent defendants.  NM Stat. § 31-9-1 through § 31-9-1.5.


Special Rules

Witnesses with “mental retardation”: the court may order the use of one of the alternative procedures for determining competency to testify or for taking the testimony of the witness with mental retardation, provided that the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the witness is likely, as a result of submitting to usual procedures for determining competency or as a result of testifying in open court, to suffer unreasonable and unnecessary mental or emotional harm; or to suffer a temporary loss of or regression in cognitive or behavioral functioning or communicative abilities such that his ability to testify will be significantly impaired. NM Stat. § 38-6-8

Law enforcement training:  A minimum of forty hours of crisis management, including crisis intervention, confrontation de-escalation practicum and proper interaction with persons with mental impairments training, shall be included in the curriculum of each basic law enforcement training class. "Mental impairment" includes a mental illness, developmental disability, posttraumatic stress disorder, dual diagnosis, autism, youth in crisis and traumatic brain injury.  NM Stat. § 29-7-7.5


Juvenile: Disability should be taken into account when determining the disposition of juvenile offenders.  NM Stat. § 32A-2-20

Death Penalty 

New Mexico does not have the death penalty. 


Special incarceration alternative program – provides physical training, manual labor assignments, GED prep, substance abuse counseling, etc. – open to all prisoners unless specifically excluded.  NM Stat. § 31-18-22