|01-19-2009, 12:04 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: BIG D
Free on March 20th: Bush Commutes Sentences of Former Border Agents Ramos & Compean
AT least they got out of jail--too bad they can no longer serve our country as border agents......BUSH-- you fail.
WASHINGTON (AP) - In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited fierce debate about illegal immigration.
Bush's decision to commute the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who tried to cover up the shooting, was welcomed by both Republican and Democratic members of Congress. They had long argued that the agents were merely doing their jobs, defending the American border against criminals. They also maintained that the more than 10-year prison sentences the pair was given were too harsh.
Rancor over their convictions, sentencing and firings has simmered ever since the shooting occurred in 2005.
Ramos and Compean became a rallying point among conservatives and on talk shows where their supporters called them heroes. Nearly the entire bipartisan congressional delegation from Texas and other lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle pleaded with Bush to grant them clemency.
Bush didn't pardon the men for their crimes, but decided instead to commute their prison sentences because he believed they were excessive and that they had already suffered the loss of their jobs, freedom and reputations, a senior administration official said.
The action by the president, who believes the border agents received fair trials and that the verdicts were just, does not diminish the seriousness of their crimes, the official said.
Compean and Ramos, who have served about two years of their sentences, are expected to be released from prison within the next two months.
They were convicted of shooting admitted drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the buttocks as he fled across the Rio Grande, away from an abandoned van load of marijuana. The border agents argued during their trials that they believed the smuggler was armed and that they shot him in self defense. The prosecutor in the case said there was no evidence linking the smuggler to the van of marijuana. The prosecutor also said the border agents didn't report the shooting and tampered with evidence by picking up several spent shell casings.
The agents were fired after their convictions on several charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon and with serious bodily injury, violation of civil rights and obstruction of justice. All their convictions, except obstruction of justice, were upheld on appeal.
With the new acts of clemency, Bush has granted a total of 189 pardons and 11 commutations.
That's fewer than half as many as Presidents Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan issued during their two-term tenures. Bush technically has until noon on Tuesday when President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office to exercise his executive pardon authority, but presidential advisers said no more were forthcoming.
The president had made most of his pardon decisions on low-profile cases, but his batch in December created controversy.
Isaac Robert Toussie of Brooklyn, N.Y, convicted of making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and of mail fraud, was among 19 people Bush pardoned just before Christmas. But after learning in news reports that Toussie's father had donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party a few months ago, as well as other information, the president reversed his decision on Toussie's case.
The White House said the decision to revoke the pardon—a step unheard of in recent memory—was based on information about the extent and nature of Toussie's prior criminal offenses, and that neither the White House counsel's office nor the president had been aware of a political contribution by Toussie's father and wanted to avoid creating an appearance of impropriety.
In an earlier high-profile official act of forgiveness, Bush saved Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, from serving prison time in the case of the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Libby was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice. Bush could still grant him a full pardon, although Libby has not applied for one.
Bush's batches of pardons, however, have never included any well-known convicts like junk bond dealer Michael Milken, who sought a pardon on securities fraud charges, or two politicians convicted of public corruption—former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., and four-term Democratic Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards—who wanted Bush to shorten their prison terms.
Clinton issued a total of 457 in eight years in office. Bush's father, George H. W. Bush, issued 77 in four years. Reagan issued 406 in eight years, and President Carter issued 563 in four years. Since World War II, the largest number of pardons and commutations—2,031—came from President Truman, who served 82 days short of eight years.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
|01-19-2009, 12:25 PM||#2|
It is what it Is.
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in a bunker
Finally a Bush act I agree with (Border patrol guys ) and on the last day lol
Last edited by baja; 01-19-2009 at 12:29 PM..
|01-19-2009, 01:12 PM||#4|
A verbis ad verbera
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Long Beach
I agree with the commutation and not the pardon. These guys fired weapons and didn't report it. You do that and you don't get to carry a gun in public service again no matter what.
I do agree though they don't deserve to be in prison for it.
Good job Bush.
|01-19-2009, 09:50 PM||#8|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jan 2006
They should have been freed immediately after this happened.
WND Exclusive INVASION USA
Feds admit smuggler lied in Ramos-Compean case
Appeals panel suggests prosecutorial 'overreach' in pursuit of border agents
Posted: December 03, 2007
4:35 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily.com
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean
The U.S. government admitted today in federal court that the prosecution's star witness in the criminal trial of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean – confessed drug dealer Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila – lied under oath.
"He told some lies on the stand," Mark Stelmach, the assistant U.S. attorney representing prosecutor U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said under questioning by a three-judge 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans.
Ramos and Compean are appealing prison sentences of 11- and 12-years respectively for a 2005 incident in which they fired on Aldrete-Davila as he fled back into Mexico after smuggling 750 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. near Fabens, Texas.
"Today the justice system worked the way it is supposed to," Tara Setmayer, communications director for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told WND immediately following the hearing.
(Story continues below)
Setmeyer, who attended the hearing, said, "I feel cautiously optimistic the judges will make a ruling quickly."
"Based on the nature of the questions from the judges, it seems as though the government made their own bed and now they have to lie in it," she said.
According to Setmayer, Judge Patrick Errol Higginbotham questioned Stelmach closely about why the prosecution had sought to seal from the jury information about a second smuggling attempt by Aldrete-Davila after Sutton's office gave him immunity and a border pass.
Higginbotham rebuked Stelmach's suggestion that Aldrete-Davila's drug history prior to the Feb. 17, 2005, incident with the border agents was not relevant to the trial. The judge argued the second load was relevant because it showed Aldrete-Davila had a brazen disregard for the law, a key factor in evaluating his testimony for the prosecution.
"It defies common sense in the street world," Higginbotham told Stelmach, "to believe Aldrete-Davila was a poor mule, as he represented at trial, instead of an actual player in the world of the drug cartels."
As WND reported, the defense lawyers in the appellate briefs filed for Ramos and Compean had argued that the likelihood Aldrete-Davila was carrying a firearm was greatly increased if he was a major player for the drug cartels.
Aldrete-Davila was the only witness who testified at trial that he was unarmed. Since he was not apprehended and frisked on the scene, it was his word at trial against the word of Ramos and Compean. The border agents both testified they saw Aldrete-Davila pointing a shiny object they believed was a gun as he ran away.
"Before the hearing today we were skeptical because we know the government is good at lying," Joe Loya, father-in-law of Ramos, told WND in a telephone interview.
"Now we are optimistic justice will prevail," he said. "The government had to admit today the prosecutors let Aldrete-Davila commit perjury at trial."
The judges today questioned the government closely about the appropriateness of prosecuting Ramos and Compean under 18 U.S.C. Section 924©, a law passed to require an additional 10-year minimum prison sentence, if felons in the act of committing crimes such as rape or burglary carry a weapon.
WND has reported the Ramos and Compean appellant briefs argued the law was never meant to be applied to law enforcement officers in the pursuit of their duties.
Judge E. Grady Jolly commented the "government overreached" in applying 18 U.S.C. Section 924© to Ramos and Compean.
Sutton was present today in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals courtroom in New Orleans, but he did not speak or answer questions from the three-judge panel.
In a press statement issued by his office, Sutton claimed the Ramos-Compean case "has always been about the rule of law."
"Some in the media and on the Internet have tried to portray agents Compean and Ramos as heroes, but that narrative is false," Sutton said. "The actions of Compean and Ramos in shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect, destroying evidence and engaging in a cover-up are serious charges."
Ramos and Compean were prosecuted "to uphold the rule of law," Sutton claimed.
"A jury rejected their factual claims of innocence after a two week trial," he continued. "The case is now before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which will resolve the disputed legal issues in accordance with the rule of law. I look forward to the decision of the Court of Appeals."
The third member of the three-judge panel was Judge Edward Charles Prado.
The three-judge panel is expected to issue a ruling within four to six weeks.
|01-20-2009, 08:22 AM||#9|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: BIG D
|01-20-2009, 12:13 PM||#10|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
I assumed they killed a couple smugglers.
What ever happened to "If your going to shoot, shoot to kill"?
|01-20-2009, 12:18 PM||#11|
A new beginning!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Watermock - RIP
Can't argue with this one. I think commuting the sentence was just but even so I wouldn't have been upset with a pardon either.
|01-20-2009, 08:37 PM||#13|
Join Date: Dec 2002
No, actually all they did was shoot Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila in the ass.
No one died. If they had killed him they might have been better off
because then Osvaldo wouldn't have been able to testify against
them at their trial.