State Sen. William Payne says he again will introduce a bill to eliminate the statute of limitations on second-degree murder.
Payne, R-Albuquerque, last year offered a bill to change that law and numerous others relating to criminal prosecutions, but it died in a committee.
This time, said Payne, right, he will limit his focus to second-degree murder. Rep. Bill Rehm, another Republican from Albuquerque, also pushed to end the statute of limitations on second-degree murder in a House version of the bill that failed.
Both legislators were motivated by a killing in Albuquerque that went undetected for eight years.Ellen Snyder shot and killed her husband, Mike, after an argument in 2002, then buried him in their backyard.
By the time police solved the case, the six-year statute of limitations on second-degree murder had lapsed, making prosecution more difficult for the government.
First-degree murder, with no statute of limitations, was available to prosecutors. But charging it required proving premeditation.
Snyder ended up pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter after waiving the statute of limitation on that charge. She received an 11-year prison sentence -- too light to suit Rehm, Payne and Gov. Susana Martinez.
Martinez, a former district attorney, spoke of the Snyder case in her 2012 state of the state address. Martinez will deliver this year's address later today.
She has said it is unfair for a killer simply to "run out the clock."
Some states have no limitations on homicide of any degree.