Saturday, January 15, 2005

New Mexico To Tighten DFR Laws

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is doing the right thing -- he wants harsher punishment for persons found guilty of drug-facilitated rape (DFR), and he wants to make it easier to convict them:
Bob Schwartz, Richardson's crime-policy adviser, said the governor intends to push legislation to deal with so-called "date-rape" drugs.

These are substances that can be used to render a person unconscious for the purpose of making them susceptible to sexual assault.

Schwartz said he disapproves of the term "date-rape" drugs because it seems to minimize the importance of the crime.

"Rape is rape," he said.

Nonetheless, Schwartz said Rohypnol, one of the most commonly used such drugs, is not now on the schedule of controlled substances in New Mexico. "It needs to be put on," he said. State law also needs to be changed to allow further prosecution for the abuse of Ketamine, a drug that's commonly used as an animal tranquilizer and can be used as a rape drug, Schwartz said.

Richardson proposes to increase the penalties for using drugs to render a person unconscious for purposes of sexual assault, Schwartz said.

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