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July 18, 2007

Bipartisan call for commuting border agent sentences

Especially in these partisan times, it is encouraging to see bipartisanship on any issue.  And, as detailed in this Lou Dobbs commentary, the extreme sentences for former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean has brought leading Senators from both sides of the aisle together:

There was an unusual spectacle in the nation's capital Tuesday, downright rare, in fact: U.S. Senators seeking truth, and justice, and taking action.  And they deserve great credit and thanks. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, led by Dianne Feinstein, focused on the reasons for the prosecution of two Border Patrol agents now serving long sentences in federal prison.  Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were given terms of 11 and 12 years respectively on their convictions for shooting an illegal alien drug smuggler. Senator Feinstein, and Senators Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn demanded answers of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who chose to prosecute Compean and Ramos and give that illegal alien drug smuggler blanket immunity to testify against the men....

Senator Feinstein and Senator Cornyn announced Tuesday night on our broadcast that they have decided to request that President Bush commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean.

Some prior posts about the Border Agents case:

July 18, 2007 at 10:19 AM | Permalink


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Obviously this means that after they give the border patrol agents that killed a guy a reprieve, and were found guilty by a jury and sentenced to time for their crime, they will start giving reprieve to people found guilty of drug crimes.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jul 18, 2007 10:22:53 AM

The border agents did not kill anyone, S.cotus.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jul 18, 2007 10:27:24 AM

Sorry, you are correct. Nobody died.

Though I am still a little suspect of lowering the percentage of violent criminals in jail. Maybe a better solution would be to simply make it not a crime for anyone to shoot a foreigner. This way, we could revisit the constitutional problems with simply saying (by statute) "border agents can shoot Mexicans."

Posted by: S.cotus | Jul 18, 2007 10:40:07 AM

What pissed me off is that there are thousand of people in jail for similar crimes (Mandatory Minimum)and the Congress only want to issue a Bill that will take the Mandatory Minimum away for Law Enforcements only.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 18, 2007 11:41:10 AM

Members of Congress are the biggest hypocrits of all. They, after all, are the ones who passed the Sentencing Guidelines in the first place. Don't blame the US Attorney.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 18, 2007 11:53:04 AM

You don't need to be very smart to realize that Mr. Dobbs is talking just about one side of the story. Same thing he's been doing with the immigration reform and some other topics. You have to open your eyes and stop believing everything that he says. His profesionalism as a journalist is very disputable. I think he is a very unreliable source and we should hear from both sides and make our own judgement. One thing is for sure, the media is very powerful but can be dangerous at the same time !

Posted by: Matthew Clausen | Jul 18, 2007 2:56:01 PM

Matthew, what part of illegal immigration you think is one sided? Illegal immigration is illegal no matter how you want to spin it. By the way, I am a Mr. Dobb fan. Personally, I think those border control agent are guilty. My cousins are in the law enforcement and they think these guys are guilty too.
But that is not the question we should be asking.(quilty)The question I believe, does the government have too much power? How is it that the criminal system is fair. Think about it, the government bragged that they have a 95% conviction rate. Is that a balance system?

Posted by: Joe | Jul 18, 2007 5:33:52 PM

Mr Dobbs does a very good job of outlining all the different drugs of which Mexico is the largest supplier. But of course he forgot to mention that all of these drugs are coming in to supply the largest illegal drug consuming market in the world. He also forgot to outline how these agents shot the unarmed smuggler in the back as he was running away from them and back into Mexico, and then went on to pick up all used casings and to not mention the incident in their daily report. Not even law enforcement officers are above the law, and these two should be punished as the criminals they are. The fact that many people support them only proves to the rest of the world what they already know, protection under the law only applies to US citizens.

Posted by: Rick | Jul 18, 2007 7:01:58 PM

I have to say, I think the sentences these two received were appropriate. You don't shoot people who are not a threat to anyone. Period.

Posted by: William Jockusch | Jul 19, 2007 8:54:49 AM

If the agent's guilt is so cut and dry than why did Sutton seek to exclude evidence of massive Mexican cartel activity in the area (which the judge excluded)? Seems like that could have gone to the agents' states of mind as to why they were skittish when dealing with this illegal alien drug smuggler.

Posted by: CJT | Jul 19, 2007 10:09:49 AM

Border Patrol, Law Enforcement, Vice Presidential Staff - who else gets to be immune to the harsh realities of federal sentencing "justice" while everyone else receives ridiculously long sentences routinely declared "reasonable."

Perhaps judges and district attorneys, next, will be given Get Out of Jail Free cards when they commit offenses for which you or I would receive years in federal prison with no parole. Then who? Where does it end?

This is OJ Simpson justice - if you're rich or powerful, or in this case defended by the rich and powerful, people don't appear to face the "tuff" consequences routinely imposed on everybody else.

That's indefensible. Either sentences are too long for everybody, or these high profile cases should get the same harsh guideline sentences everybody else gets.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jul 19, 2007 11:08:03 AM

These two border patrol agent where charged with 924C (mandatory 10 years), which says firearm discharge on scene of crime. Why then a Dick Chaney wasn’t charged same thing over shutting his lawyer while hunting? I wouldn’t be surprised if we will discover one morning as Sutton’s prosecution office has connections with drug cartel associated with that load of marihuana. He (Sutton) continue to tell whole world as this particular drug trafficker wasn’t carrying any gun on scene of “border patrol crime”, but he never showed any proven facts. I don’t think that is very professional.

Posted by: Nick | Jul 22, 2007 7:10:55 PM

Scooter Libby was convicted in a sham political prosecution brought by the Democrats largely due to his closeness to Bush administration. In an equally partisan political move Bush saved his friend from going to jail. Just out of curiosity, Gritsforbreakfast, should Bill Clinton have gone to jail for his own brand of lying under oath and obstruction, or was his impeachment hearing simply a case of Republicans trying to smear a political rival? What about the hundreds of pardons he gave out to his friends, supporters, and FAMILY on the eve of his leaving office?

The case of the border agents has sparked outrage, because it sickens people to see our government, who is supposed to be keeping people like this "victim" out of our country, making deals with drug dealers and getting nothing for it but testimony to put two cops, whom no one has suggested were corrupt, in jail.

All I’m trying to say is that it seems somewhat ignorant to portray either of these cases as justice for the “rich and powerful.” If you want to attack mandatory sentencing, than the agent’s case is a good one to cite (although many would argue that sentencing is irrelevant as they shouldn’t have been convicted), but the fact that there are Republicans and conservatives on the side of leniency on both cases does not make them related.

Posted by: CJT | Jul 23, 2007 10:04:07 AM

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