Forums / Political & Legal / Bush commutes Border Agents Prison Sentence

5 years 44 weeks ago, 5:14 PM

samD

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Earlier today, President Bush announced that he was commuting the prison sentences of former Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, the very last he would issue in office.

The announcement of the commutations is a major victory for all of us who understand that the prosecution and conviction of these brave agents, who were sentenced to a combined 23 years in prison for what Congressman Tom Tancredo called "doing their job" -- pursuing an illegal alien trying to smuggle more than 700 lbs of marijuana into our country -- was a grave travesty of justice.

5 years 44 weeks ago, 5:21 PM

LLE

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But nothing less than a full pardon is proper.....this is just one more reason that Bush will not be remembered with great fondness, and will be forever relegated to the lowest comparative ratings of 43 US Presidents.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
5 years 44 weeks ago, 6:10 PM

Anonymous

pres Bush

this is the best of his commutations or pardons.these guys should have never been in jail in the first place.i feel like if you are here illegally then you do not have the same rights in this country as we citizens do.this really applies if you are doing something criminal while here illegally!i am sure i will get tarred and feathered for this one but if we dont take a tough stance against these illegals then they will continue to tread all over us!

5 years 44 weeks ago, 6:24 PM

LLE

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the Ramos and Compean case, while commutation allows them to go home, they are still convicted felons, and have lost some very basic civil rights. Where are they going to find employment so as to support their families--as a security guard?? They cannot legally own a firearm, let alone carry on the job. This is a travesty of justice, and the American people should support them in additional due process legal steps to obtain a pardon from the new President.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
5 years 44 weeks ago, 6:27 PM

Anonymous

i agree completely LLE

but at the very least they are out of prison!i signed an online petition way back when this all began,limbaugh had discussed the case on his show and had a link on his site for it!

5 years 44 weeks ago, 6:44 PM

LLE

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The only way they can get their civil rights back is if a President pardons them, and even that does not clear their record as felons.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
5 years 44 weeks ago, 3:31 AM

Pkato

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but honestly, I don't know the whole story here, I haven't read all the details, just what the news reported...

PKato

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Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
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5 years 44 weeks ago, 4:10 AM

Pkato

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From World Net Daily

OK...I know this is going to be unpopular here...but from this story, I can see how this actually could occur with our attitude towards protecting the victim rather than helping law enforcement and border security philosophies...here goes:

1. They (Ramos)fucked up big time...First, it seems he is not even sure he saw a gun and knowing a little bit about situations like this, you just gotta be sure. Next, he shot him in the ass while he was fleeing...once again, at the time he shot him he was no longer in danger or his partner (or anyone for that matter). So once again, he probably should not have fired. Was the partner actually shot or was he laying on the ground to avoid being seen...it doesn't really mention that and I don't remember.

2. Picking up the brass...well, I guess in a way he did disturb a crime scene, but then again it kinda supports the theory that he didn't think he did anything wrong. If he had any inclination it was a crime (his reaction, he shouldn't have removed the brass). It does look like he attempted a coverup, not saying he did, but it appears as such, with lawyers that is like striking gold.

3. From what is written below, he states that after the guy turned towards him, he fired...but the guy was actually shot in the ass! How did that happen? I mean, did the guy turn at that very moment? This is kinda inconsistent...of course, the exact testimony would be helpful.

Now, before you all get upset, at least read this entire post. Do I think they should have gone to jail--HELL NO. Does that illegal deserve protection under our constitution? I don't think so. Did these guys get a fair shake and appropriate sentences? No way in HELL! For God's sake OJ had blood on everything he owned, almost decapitated two people and didn't get shit!!! But these guys in jail for 10 years?

I need to say this, if nothing else LLE you have motivated everyone on this site to think more deeply about issues, research, at least a little bit more and try to formulate more well thought out arguments on a lot of issues...so I for one, appreciate the challenge. However, I do really enjoy some of those short 1-2 line quick-witted comments by ebear, Greasy, you, SamD and the likes of snake! I do enjoy this entire site!

PKato
Former Military Law Enforcement Officer and brother to two cops!

Oh, by the way...I do think Bush if he did anything should have just gone with the full pardon, it actually did surprise me because over the years he hasn't cared what people thought of what he did, he just did what he thought was the correct course of action...it makes me think there was more information that he had access to.

Posted: August 07, 2006
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily.com

When Border Patrol Agent Ignacio Ramos pulled the trigger last February, all he knew was that his partner was lying on the ground behind him – bloodied from a struggle with a fleeing suspect – shots had been fired and now, it appeared, the drug smuggler he was pursuing had turned toward him with what looked to be a gun in his hand.

In the split-second he had to respond, Ramos determined the course of his and his partner's lives – federal prison for the next 20 years for assault with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharging of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, violating civil rights and obstruction of justice.

Ramos, 37, is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and a former nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year.

Agent Jose Alonso Compean. Courtesy of KFOX-TV

On Feb. 17, he responded to a request for back up from agent Jose Alonso Compean, 28, who noticed a suspicious van near the levee road along the Rio Grande River near the Texas town of Fabens, about 40 miles east of El Paso.

Ramos, who headed toward Fabens hoping to cut off the van, soon joined a third agent already in pursuit.

Behind the wheel of the van was an illegal alien, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila of Mexico. Unknown to the growing number of Border Patrol agents converging on Fabens, Aldrete-Davila's van was carrying 800 pounds of marijuana.

Unable to outrun Ramos and the third agent, Aldrete-Davila stopped the van on the levee, jumped out and started running toward the river. When he reached the other side of the levee, he was met by Compean, who had anticipated the smuggler's attempt to get back to Mexico.

"We both yelled out for him to stop, but he wouldn't stop, and he just kept running," Ramos told California's Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Aldrete-Davila crossed a canal.

"At some point during the time where I'm crossing the canal, I hear shots being fired," Ramos said. "Later, I see Compean on the ground, but I keep running after the smuggler."

At that point, Ramos said, Aldrete-Davila turned toward him, pointing what looked like a gun.

"I shot," Ramos said. "But I didn't think he was hit, because he kept running into the brush and then disappeared into it. Later, we all watched as he jumped into a van waiting for him. He seemed fine. It didn't look like he had been hit at all."

The commotion and multiple calls for back up had brought seven other agents – including two supervisors – to the crossing by this time. Compean picked up his shell casings, but Ramos did not. He also did not follow agency procedure and report that he had fired his weapon.

"The supervisors knew that shots were fired," Ramos told the paper. "Since nobody was injured or hurt, we didn't file the report. That's the only thing I would've done different."

Had he done that one thing differently, it's unlikely it would have mattered to prosecutors.

Over two weeks after the incident, Christopher Sanchez, an investigator with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, received a call from a Border Patrol agent in Wilcox, Ariz. The agent's mother-in-law had received a call from Aldrete-Davila's mother in Mexico telling her that her son had been wounded in the buttocks in the shooting.

Sanchez followed up with a call of his own to the smuggler in Mexico.

In a move that still confuses Ramos and Compean, the U.S. government filed charges against them after giving full immunity to Aldrete-Davila and paying for his medical treatment at an El Paso hospital.

At trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof told the court that the agents had violated an unarmed Aldrete-Davila's civil rights.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is a violation of someone's Fourth Amendment rights to shoot them in the back while fleeing if you don't know who they are and/or if you don't know they have a weapon," said Kanof.

Kanof dismissed Ramos' testimony that he had seen something shiny in the smuggler's hand, saying that the agent couldn't be sure it was a gun he had seen.

Further, Kanof argued, it was a violation of Border Patrol policy for agents to pursue fleeing suspects.

"Agents are not allowed to pursue. In order to exceed the speed limit, you have to get supervisor approval, and they did not," she told the Daily Bulletin.

The shell casings Compean picked up were described to the jury as destroying the crime scene and their failure to file an incident report – punishable by a five-day suspension, according to Border Patrol regulations – an attempted cover up.

The Texas jury came back with a guilty verdict. Conviction for discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence has an automatic 10-year sentence. The other counts have varying punishments. Ramos and Compean will be sentenced next month.

"How are we supposed to follow the Border Patrol strategy of apprehending terrorists or drug smugglers if we are not supposed to pursue fleeing people?" said Ramos, who said that he only did on that day what he had done for the previous 10 years. "Everybody who's breaking the law flees from us. What are we supposed to do? Do they want us to catch them or not?"

He also noted that none of the other agents who had responded to the incident filed reports that shots were fired and, besides, both supervisors at the scene knew they had discharged their weapons.

"You need to tell a supervisor because you can't assume that a supervisor knows about it," Kanof countered. "You have to report any discharge of a firearm."

"This is the greatest miscarriage of justice I have ever seen," said Andy Ramirez of the nonprofit group Friends of the Border Patrol. "This drug smuggler has fully contributed to the destruction of two brave agents and their families and has sent a very loud message to the other Border Patrol agents: If you confront a smuggler, this is what will happen to you."

The El Paso Sheriff's Department has increased its patrols around the Ramos home. The family is receiving threats from people they believe are associated with Aldrete-Davila.

Patrolman Kato
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
5 years 44 weeks ago, 4:23 AM

Pkato

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U.S. officials gave immunity to Aldrete for that drug run in exchange for his testimony against the two agents.

-- So they were convicted because of...or at least in part because of the testimony of an illegal border crosser/drug runner? That says alot about our courts and the laws of our nation...this is an outrage.

PKATO
Chief Infidel In Charge
CIIC

Patrolman Kato
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
5 years 44 weeks ago, 8:34 AM

LLE

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I have never been one to fall to the side of blatant paranoia, but in this case, my gut feel is there is more to this case than the public might ever discover.
To me, your last sentence is very meaningful. The basic question revolves around the extent of the US "civil rights" of a non-citizen, who is not living in the USA, and who also [allegedly] is in the process of commiting a crime, and is being followed by officers in "hot pursuit" to apprehend. I do not pretend to be an expert, but I do not believe there ARE any US civil rights for such a foreign national, under any international treaties or agreements, under those conditions, and therefore such a person has no standing in the court. That is fundamentally, IMO, enough to demonstrate that the prosecutor was at the very least, over zealous, and may very well have seen the case as providing great impetus for his own career, or even more. I am not an attorney or a LEO, but I have worked with "officers of the court" almost all my vocational life, especially in the Federal environment No system is absolutely perfect because none of the people who administer the system are perfect, and corruption for monetary and personal non-monetary gain has been shown to exist.
My gut feel is that the "investigation" of this case has left more than "a lot" to be desired, and the lives of two reasonably decent public servants have been ruined. While they were [allegedly] in error with respect to existing operational rules, the penalties for those errors cannot IMO, support indictment of, and conviction for felonies. At the most, internal disciplinary procedures would have sufficed. As Shakespeare once wrote, "something is rotten, in the state of Denmark".

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]

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