It's bad enough that the state Legislature puts such a low value on justice that it allows partisan politics to toss out merit-selected judges. Now, New Mexicans are discovering that our senators and representatives can't be bothered holding members of the judiciary responsible for their behavior as public officials.
And because of that failure, the state Supreme Court this week overturned the rape and bribery convictions of the disgraced Española judge Charles Maestas.
Maestas, accused of using his powers over a defendant to gain sexual favors from her, was set free early this year after serving a year and a half of a three-year prison sentence. The high court decision erases his felony record.
The year after his conviction, the city of Española spent nearly $900,000 settling a lawsuit by 10 women claiming they were coerced into sexual acts through a conspiracy between Maestas and former jail guards.