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November 10, 2008

President-elect Obama already getting pressure to pardon the border agents

Regular readers may recall all the controversies stirred up the prosecution and sentencing of former border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.  As detailed here, there has been a bipartisan call for their sentences to be commuted, and I am hoping (though not optimistic) that Ramos and Compean might get some sentencing justice from President George Bush as he packs up his desk at the White House.

Interestingly, as detailed in this local article, even 10 weeks before he can lay claim to the presidential clemency power, President-elect Barack Obama is getting public pressure to help out the border agents:

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is asking President-Elect Barack Obama to pardon two border patrol agents who were convicted in the 2005 shooting an unarmed drug smuggler and trying to cover up the crime.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were arrested after the drug smuggler, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, filed a complaint against them after the shooting in Fabens, Texas. Testimony revealed Davila was running away when he was shot in the buttocks. Davila was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for agreeing to return to the United States to testify against the two Border Patrol agents.

In Monday's letter to the president-elect, Tancredo said, "These are the kind of men whose government failed and destroyed them -- all while they were serving a cause greater than themselves. These men deserve justice. I, and many other Members of Congress, have repeatedly called upon President Bush to exercise his power to pardon -- but he has not done so."...

Tancredo's letter to the president-elect added, "I respectfully urge you to use your power as President to take the immediate, appropriate and long overdue step of freeing them in your first two weeks in office, and see to it that agents Ramos and Compean spend President’s Day at home with their families -- instead of sitting in solitary confinement in a federal prison because they had the temerity to do their job."

Some prior posts about the Border Agents case:

November 10, 2008 at 04:38 PM | Permalink


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Personally I feel letting these two off, even with a commutation would be a very bad idea. Law enforcement needs to stay on the right side of the line, by the time they stray into gray areas I already consider them dirty.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Nov 10, 2008 5:48:08 PM

Yeah, heaven forbid that law enforcement officers ever get the protection of the standards of sensible and proportionate justice that we want then to enforce. Geez...

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 10, 2008 8:36:51 PM


I come to the position I do by way of the often vague laws we ask officers to enforce. Due to the very rarity of prosecution in this area I do think the penalties for being caught need to be extremely severe.

I would be just as happy stripping officers of immunity however, but extreme punishment is the answer that is acceptable politically.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Nov 10, 2008 9:23:08 PM

What's the "proportionate justice" for shooting someone in the back?

Posted by: | Nov 10, 2008 9:30:31 PM

Wow. Laying issues for 2012 already. It never stops, does it. (sigh)

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 11, 2008 12:05:36 AM

We need to look at whether these law enforcement agents ever lobbied for pardons on behalf of other people. Were they advocates for proportional justice? If they don't have a track record for that, then they should do their time.

Posted by: S.cotus | Nov 11, 2008 12:18:49 AM

Sorry, I don't see the problem here. Law enforcement officers shoot an unarmed, fleeing man in the back, then coordinate a coverup? 11 and 12 years seem appropriate. I don't see any disproportionate harshness, much less such extreme disproportion that a commutation is justified.

Posted by: Def. Atty. | Nov 11, 2008 11:26:18 AM

First, why does anyone think Tom Tancredo has any influence with Barack Obama? How high on the priority list do you suppose Rahm Emanuel will put THAT request?!

Second, isn't it much more likely that BUSH will pardon the pair before he leaves office than it is that Obama do so in his first 100 days? One wonders, why isn't Tancredo directing his letter to the sitting President who is from his own party and could do what he wants right now?

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Nov 11, 2008 12:42:27 PM

I'm a little disappointed about Obama and its politics

Posted by: generic viagra | Mar 11, 2010 12:38:26 PM

It's so fast how time flies. It's been 3 years since obama elected as the president.

Posted by: epm implementation | May 19, 2011 1:47:25 AM

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