Bush Finally Does Right Thing And Commutes Excessive Sentences Of Border Patrol Guys

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Finally. Even a dirtbag like Bush recognizes there are limits to sucking up to the Mexican drug cartel. He commutes the wildly excessive sentences of two guys who never should have been prosecuted in the first place. I wonder if he got wind that Obama would commute them, making him look even worse. Would it have killed him to let Duke Cunnignham, a vietnam war ace, out of prison? What does it serve for the severely ill Duke to die in a fedral pen for a minor failure to report gratuities charge? How can Bush justify keeping him locked up when a dirtbag like Charley Rangel has not even been charged or a crook like Rep. Willaim "Freezer full of cash" Jefferson is free?

    Bush commutes sentences of former US border agents

    Jan 19 01:09 PM US/Eastern
    Associated Press Writer 256 Comments

    Free on March 20th: Bush Commutes Sentences of Former Border Agents Ramos & Compean

    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.
  2. maxpi


    Good for the border guards, one of them was put in a prison with guys he had arrested and he immediately got a severe beating... the treatment those guys got was a railroading by everybody from their supervisor to the prosecutors.... it's a disgrace what was done to them...

    a journalist investigated the border situation last year and concluded that MS13 had control of the border!! No wonder if we are undermining our own border police!
  3. achilles28


    The Governments aggressive prosecution of Federal Agents charged with protecting the border is fucking sick.

    What is it you mainline conservatives don't get?

    The Government wants Open Borders. They want Illegal Immigration. They want drug trafficking. And they want terrorists crossing the border!!

    Its so god-damned obvious. Then, they burn-at-the-stake Federal Agents who did their JOBS!!!

    Its called sending a message.

    Open Borders create a multitude of grave domestic problems that one day, will blow up the economy or a city.

    Then, all their Police State Legislation they've been squirreling aways kicks-in and the Country goes into lock-down.

    Thats the plan. Total control. Constitution in the garbage. Open Borders. And a North American Union. All living in a devolved cess-pool of 2nd World Poverty.

    I suppose kool-aid drinking conservatives can't admit the obvious.

    Actions speak louder than words. Thats the problem. American Sheeple judge their Government by what they say, instead of what they do.

    So everything is just fine. Even though its going down the shitter!!
  4. achilles28


    Hey Guys, just remember:

    The Government can't shut down the border.

    That might endanger wild-life! Or America might get sued by illegals!

    Oh Deary me.
  5. About freakin' time these guys were released. Why the hell do they have to wait until March?!?

    Just one of many Bush fuck ups....
  6. Maybe I'm missing something,but when you shoot an unarmed person in the back and then try to cover it up you belong in prison

    "Ramos was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 11 years and one day in prison for shooting and wounding an unarmed person .

    The prosecutor also said the border agents didn't report the shooting and tampered with evidence by picking up several spent shell casings.

    Fellow agent Jose Compean was sentenced to 12 years.[2] After the shooting the officers disposed of their shell casings, made no further attempt to apprehend the suspect, lied to their supervisors, and filed a false investigative report."
  7. Depends on who you're shooting. I can think of a lot of people that deserve to be shot, armed or not.
  8. Arnie


    How long would smuggling last if we had a bounty on drug smugglers? :D
  9. These claims were all disputed. They were in a fight with a guy they thought was armed and in fact, probably was armed. He resisted arrest. Neither of the guards had ever fired their weapons on duty before, and when they had fired in training, they had been instructed to pick up shell casings. They followed what they had been trained to do, but suddenly it is blown up into obstruction of justice. They claimed they made an oral report, and it seemed obvious their immediate supervisor knew what had gone down.

    The trial was a fiasco, with a judge denying them the right to enter extremely relevent evidence, such as the fact the "victim" had used his border pass given him by prosecutors to smuggle more drugs but had not been charged, even though the prosecutors were aware of it. Perhaps the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct was charging them under a statute that gives a mandatory 10 year sentence for using a gun in commission of a felony. Senators who wrote that law said it was never intended to be used against law enforcement agents for on duty shootings, and in fact it apparently has never been used except in this case.

    In sum, this was a minor scuffle that involved a guy committing a felony and resisting arrest getting winged. At most, it warranted administration punishment, eg a short suspension. Instead, the full weight of the government was thrown at these two guys, they received draconian sentences and, when congress raised questions, Homeland Security officials privately lied and said the agents had made threats to "shoot mexicans."

    Given all the strange circumstances, I believe it is fair to ask why the government was so determined to lock up these guys and throw away the keys. The only plausible answer is that the mexican government, no doubt at the behest of drug cartels, demanded such action, possibly as the price for future border cooperation. Or they simply bought off someone in a position to railroad these guys. Clearly they wanted to send a message to other Agents to look the other way when they encountered smugglers.

    It was a shameful episode that was the last straw for many conservatives. The fact that amnesty advocate John McCain didn't take a position hurt him badly with plenty of conservatives. This is the kind of defining issue that is destroying the Republican Party. The fact that Bush finally commutes these absurd sentences after putting these two guys through hell and ruining them does nothing to erase the bitter taste in conservatives' mouths.

  10. Agree....no different than courtmarshalling those Marines for Fallujah.
    #10     Jan 20, 2009