Monday, January 19, 2009

Ramos And Compean Have Sentences Commuted by Bush

Well, it certainly took him long enough.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were US border patrol agents who made the bad mistake of actually trying to do their jobs and stop a Mexican drug dealer from entering the country illegally.In the course of doing that, they shot and wounded him, believing he was armed.

This, of course did not sit well with the Bush Administration and its open borders policy, so the two agents were viciously prosecuted and convicted for assault with a dangerous weapon, serious bodily injury, violation of civil rights, and obstruction of justice, the last ludicrous charge which was later overturned on appeal because their supervisors were actually on the scene when the incidents occurred.

They received ten year sentences, while the drug dealer, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was actually given a special pass to cross the border back and forth legally whenever he chose because he was a federal witness. During one of those trips,he was caught again with a load of drugs bound for America but never prosecuted for it.

Ramos and Compean lost their freedom, their jobs and their federal benefits and pensions. Their families were bankrupted by their loss of earnings for the two years they spent rotting in jail - on top of the onerous legal fees

The two border patrol agents were given such harsh sentences as an 'example' to any of their fellow agents who were thinking of doing more than going through the motions on the job, and a number of them resigned afterwards.

It should be noted that Bush did not pardon Ramos and Compean. He merely commuted the balance of their sentences. They still remain convicted felons, with all that entails.

It's also worth noting that the 'compassionate conservative' has been notably stingy when it comes to executive clemency. Bush has granted a total of 189 pardons and 11 commutations, fewer than half as many as Presidents Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan issued during their two-term tenures. And according to the White House, there won't be any more of them, which means Scooter Libby and Michael Milkin are out of luck, and Jonathan Pollard will continue to rot in jail. And come to think of it, there's something these guys have in common, isn't there?

I can't say it's unexpected. Even Ramos and Compean likely got their sentences commuted because virtually the entire bi-partisan Texas congressional delegation and a number of other prominent politicians leaned on the current occupant of the White House for clemency.

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