Judicial Performance Evaluations
Posted on Oct 12, 2010 12:55pm PDT
The New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC)has completed its evaluations of New Mexico's judges recently. The commission compiles data and composes a grid that displays their findings concerning each judge. They also perform an individual evaluation of each judge. This year, three Metropolitan Court judges were recommended for non-retention (firing). Of the three, one of them was graded by the commission at a 26% on a traditional 100% scale. That's a grade mom would not approve of. Another judge was evaluated at 58%, but the commission recommended retention of her anyhow. Mom wouldn't agree with that score either!
For the first time that I've noticed, I have seen judges advertise asking for the community's support for retention. One of them even ran an ad in the Albuquerque Journal boasting of being supported by the former director of M.A.D.D. (Mother's Against Drunk Driving) A strange boast for a position that demands not only non-bias, but the appearance of being non-biased. How many people would want their DWI or DUI case decided by a M.A.D.D.-sponsored judge?
In my personal review of the JPEC's evaluation, I cannot say that I agree with all of their evaluations. However, I hope that the judges that were evaluated as having low approval ratings will take the commissions findings as a request for improved performance. The community deserves it and the profession should demand it. You can see all the JPEC's findings at: http://www.nmjpec.org/