The New Mexico Supreme Courtroom is listening to appeals towards youngsters

At 16, Rodriguez was sentenced to around 12 years in prison as an adult. He wasn’t the one to pull the trigger, and he made a plea deal.

The question is: if Rodriguez pleads, does Rodriguez have the opportunity to appeal that he should have been convicted as a youth?

Gerecke’s widow said Rodriguez knew what he was getting from this plea deal.

Rodriguez’s defense said his mother was incarcerated at the time and his father died of a drug overdose and the court should be lenient as Rodriguez is amenable to youth rehabilitation. A judge didn’t buy it, and now the bigger question of appeal will be answered by the state Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

Historically, the state Supreme Court hasn’t streamed these types of hearings, but because of the pandemic, they wanted to make their work more accessible and now they have the technology to do it.

“This court is absolutely committed to transparency and this is one of the things we are doing to do it,” said Chief Justice Michael Vigil.

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