Monday, January 19, 2009

Bush Commutes Sentences for Border Guards

A little late in the process and there should have been a full pardon, but I guess there's some small measure of justice here. The rockheads from AP say it's a pardon in the headline, but I guess expecting accuracy from them is a bit too much to ask.
President George W. Bush has commuted the prison sentences of two former Border Patrol guards whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited debate about illegal immigration.

Bush's act of clemency on Monday for Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean was a victory for Democratic and Republican members of Congress and others who pleaded with the president to pardon the men or at least commute their sentences.
This miscarriage of justice never should have gotten to this point, but at least he did the right thing here to some extent.

Update: This version now notes the sentences were commuted.
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.
More from Michelle Malkin and Hot Air.

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