Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Litigants Fail To Rate Judges, Project Says.(New Mexico & The West)

Byline: Deborah Baker The Associated Press

SANTA FE Needed: a few thoughtful felons to evaluate New Mexico's judges.

A 3-year-old project that assesses how judges perform and whether voters should keep them on the bench has had plenty of input from lawyers, court workers, jurors, police, probation officers and others.

What it lacks is the opinions of New Mexicans who appear before those judges as plaintiffs or defendants in lawsuits or to be tried and sentenced for crimes.

"We cannot get litigants to send back the questionnaires," said Farmington lawyer Felix Briones Jr., chairman of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission. "We hardly get any. …

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