Judges played an important role in the development of an effective judicial system in New Mexico. This presentation reviews the lives of some of New Mexico’s most influential and colorful judicial characters. Through their own words, taken from newspapers, letters, and trial transcripts, we see the thoughtful and often severe sentences imposed on convicted defendants and how justice was dispensed in our own wild west.

Robert Tórrez is a native New Mexican who served as the state historian from 1987-2000. He is the author of several books and has contributed chapters to nearly two dozen anthologies and textbooks. His monthly column, “Voices From the Past,” is published in Round the Roundhouse, the state government employee newspaper.