New Mexico News Podcast: COVID Intensifies Backlog in New Mexico Court System

New episode available for streaming or download on this page

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Even before the COVID pandemic, the courts in New Mexico were busy. But after 2020 brought a host of rules, including indoor capacity limits, virtually every court in the state found itself with a backlog of cases awaiting hearing as new ones continued to roll in. to add.

While New Mexico dropped most of its pandemic boundaries in July 2021, the state’s justice system continues to catch up. Criminal cases and civil cases are months behind their pre-pandemic outlook, putting great pressure on defendants and the lawyers representing them.


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Imagine sitting in a criminal case, only to find the key witness can’t testify because of COVID. Or, imagine waiting 10 months for a decision in a trial. Both of these situations have occurred in some of the court cases featured by this week’s guests on the New Mexico News podcast.

Hosts Chris McKee and Gabrielle Burkhart recently spoke to lawyers who continue to struggle with backlogs. Jennifer Barela and Douglas Wilber of the New Mexico Public Defender’s Legal Office offer their insights this week. Wilber is the supervising attorney at the Office of Public Defenders while Barela is the Albuquerque District Advocate. New Mexico civil attorney specializing in personal injury and employment law, Deena Buchanan also joins the conversation.

The New Mexico News Podcast is a weekly podcast from KRQE with new episodes available every Tuesday. Episodes are available for download on popular platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Podbean, among others.

To find the show on your favorite podcast player, type “KRQE News” or “New Mexico News Podcast” into the search function. Use the links above to find the podcast on each respective service, or listen to the audio player below.

If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the podcast, let us know! Email hosts at chris.mckee@krqe.com or gabrielle.burkhart@krqe.com.