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Thread: Bush Commutes Sentences for Ramos and Compean!

  1. #1
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    Default Bush Commutes Sentences for Ramos and Compean!

    It's about damn time this idiot stepped up and did what's right. I'm so happy these guys get some proper justice (being let go)!

    Bush Commutes Sentences for Two Former Border Patrol Agents
    President Bush commutes the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

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    Jan. 17, 2007: Former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos (left) and Jose Alonso Compean (right) turn themselves in to federal authorities.

    Jan. 17, 2007: Former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos (left) and Jose Alonso Compean (right) turn themselves in to federal authorities.
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    On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the controversial sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.

    The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.

    Their sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.

    Ramos and Compean were sentenced in connection with the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was shot in the buttocks while trying to flee along the Texas border. He admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot and pleaded guilty last year to drug charges related to two other smuggling attempts.

    The pair's case ignited debate across the country, as a chorus of organizations and members of Congress -- many of them Republican -- argued that the men were just doing their jobs. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was particularly outspoken on the issue, at one time describing Ramos and Compean as "unjustly convicted men who never should have been prosecuted in the first place."

    Nearly the entire congressional delegation from Texas and other lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle pleaded with Bush to grant them clemency. Conservatives hailed Bush's decision Monday.

    "The whole thing was ridiculous from beginning to end, and two years was way too long for them to serve," said radio talk show host Laura Ingraham. "Conservatives are very happy across the country."

    Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said in a written statement that Bush had "responded to the calls for compassion that came from across the country and made the right decision in granting these two men commutations."

    The border agents argued during their trials that they believed Davila 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 that contained the 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.

    Bush has been cautious in his use of pardon powers, and particularly careful when it comes to commutations of prison terms. A pardon is an official forgiveness of a crime (typically requested at least five years after the completion of a prison term); a commutation is a reduction of sentence.

    Before Monday, Bush had granted 189 pardons and nine commutations. By comparison, President Clinton granted 396 pardons and 61 commutations, many on his last day in office. President Reagan granted 393 pardons and 13 commutations.

    The White House has until noon Tuesday, when President-elect Barack Obama is to be sworn in, to grant any more clemency requests. But White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Monday's commutations would be Bush's last acts of clemency.

    A number of high-profile criminals had been requesting clemency from Bush for months.

    Randall "Duke" Cunningham, a former Republican congressman from California, was among those seeking a commutation. Cunningham pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges for accepting $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for steering defense contracts to conspirators. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2006.

    Former Democratic Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, who was convicted in 2000 on racketeering charges and later sentenced to 10 years in prison, was also appealing to the president for a reduction of sentence.

    Former Republican Gov. George Ryan of Illinois was doing the same. Though he's served only one year of his 6 1/2-year sentence -- he was convicted on racketeering charges in connection with a host of schemes, including steering contracts to lobbyists and covering up bribes paid in return for truck drivers' licenses -- he earned the support of figures like Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat who recently sent a letter to Bush asking for Ryan's release.

    More than 2,100 clemency petitions were pending before the president. John Walker Lindh, the American who pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban in 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, had a commutation request before the president. Lindh's parents had appealed to the president for their son's release, saying he made a "mistake."

    Media mogul Conrad Black, who was convicted of fraud, was also seeking commutation, and former junk bond salesman Michael Milken, convicted of securities fraud, had requested a pardon.

    Justin Volpe, the former New York City police officer sentenced to 30 years in prison for sodomizing and assaulting a Haitian immigrant in police custody in 1997, had requested a commutation.

    One of the most significant clemency decisions by Bush so far was the call earlier in his second term to commute the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, who was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice in connection with the 2003 leak of then-CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

    Libby was left with two years' probation and a $250,000 fine; he did not request a full pardon.

    Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, the Republican senior senator who was convicted on corruption charges in October, also will apparently not receive clemency.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Maabus1999's Avatar
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    Yeah I had a feeling this one was coming.

  3. #3
    It's always something... Array PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    It's about time. One of the few things Bush got right. Finally!
    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay one invincible summer."
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  4. #4
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Why were they given such high sentences in the first place? (Since I know little about that sort of situation, based on the outcome of what they did, it didn't sound worth and 11-12 year sentence.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Lateralus's Avatar
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    We're not supposed to protect our borders or something like that. People crossing the borders are all innocent victims of American imperialism. None of them are violent drug dealers who behead Mexican police officers. So yeah, shooting an "alleged" drug dealer was totally uncalled for.

    This took way too long.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Why were they given such high sentences in the first place? (Since I know little about that sort of situation, based on the outcome of what they did, it didn't sound worth and 11-12 year sentence.)
    They got it because of a trumped up charge the attorney put on them; a charge for using guns during a crime that was a NEVER meant to be used on law enforcement, and never was for the 40 years it was in existence.

    This whole case was rife with political bull shit from the get go. The officers got into a tussle with the drug smuggler, and as the smuggler ran away we was flashing something which they thought was a gun. They had to react, and did so by firing on him after having fought with the guy on the ground. The fool kept on running, so they thought they hadn't shot him at all. The guy was fine with a bullet in his ass until his mother used her connections to contact a border patrol agent in the U.S. U.S. attorney Johny Sutton then got on the case, and the smuggler was allowed into the country to sue the government for being shot while smuggling drugs. The case was then brought up against Ramos and Compean.

    The two of them were at first accused of trying to hide evidence of firing their weapons, which they did do. However, that is a an offense for not filing the necessary paperwork or reporting it to any supervisors. It was an issue that could've been handled through administrative means and discipline. However, attorney Johny has a history of supporting such criminals in these sorts of cases, and sought to bring the hammer down on the agents. Johny is a close friend of Bush, essentially one of his lackeys. It is thought that Bush, in his attempt to appease the Mexican government itself, to further his agenda at the time of gaining the support of Latinos, and trying to get an amnesty bill passed for illegal immigrants, communicated to Johny the need for them to be prosecuted to the highest degree. These guys were essentially political scapegoats and prisoners.

    This guy they shot had been caught multiple times before smuggling drugs into the country. The jury in their trial was NOT allowed to know any information about the smuggler and his past criminal deeds. To add insult to it, that same smuggler was caught AGAIN smuggling drugs afterwards, after Johny had given him a free pass in and out the country to testify, among other benefits for the criminal. So the jury, lacking all the info that was not allowed to reach their ears, ruled against them for concealing evidence AND for the gun charge Johny threw into the case. The Jury actually said that had they known this info about the smuggler, THEY WOULD NOT have ruled against the agents. Further more, the attorney general actually lied to Congress when the case was brought to their attention, and said that the agents were on a vendetta to attack Mexicans. This info was later proven to be completely false. After the trial was set and done, and the two agents received their sentences, the attorney Johny actually came out to the press numerous times to say that he thought the agents had gotten an excessive sentence. The problem is, HE WAS THE ATTORNEY WHO CHARGED THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE! He fought to get the gun charge pinned onto them, a charge that was never meant for law enforcement, knowing that it carries a MANDATORY 10 year sentence. There was NO ambiguity in it, he knew what he was doing, then tried to act innocent afterwards.

    In the end, the families fought for the entire two years to have real justice served, and have them freed. All of our local stations have been strong supporters of their efforts since it began. Almost all the Texas delegation finally sent letters to Bush asking him to commute their sentences, and he caved on this last day. I'm glad he did what was right in the end, but what he put them through, and the reasons he did it to the best of the public's knowledge, are still absolutely reprehensible!

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