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Ramos & Compean Are Free!

By Greg L | 19 January 2009 | National Politics | 31 Comments

Breaking: President Bush commuted the sentences of two former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.


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  1. Loudoun Insider said on 19 Jan 2009 at 1:51 pm:
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    Wow. GWB finally did something right!

  2. reston libertarian said on 19 Jan 2009 at 1:54 pm:
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    I have to concur with LI here. Their imprisonment was a travesty of justice.

  3. Flavius Maximus said on 19 Jan 2009 at 1:55 pm:
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    Kinda like sacking Rumsfeld, AFTER the 2006 mid-term elections, don’t you think. Too late, but glad they will be free.

  4. Black Saint said on 19 Jan 2009 at 2:17 pm:
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    Hard to believe Jr. the Stupid did this even if it is years too late!

  5. Anonymous said on 19 Jan 2009 at 2:18 pm:
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    I’m happy for them and for their families.

  6. citizenofmanassas said on 19 Jan 2009 at 2:26 pm:
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    About time.

  7. freedom said on 19 Jan 2009 at 2:34 pm:
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    If he had done so earlier, November just MIGHT have been different….:(

  8. BothPartiesColludeAgainstYou said on 19 Jan 2009 at 2:42 pm:
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    Thankfully for those two men, Bush did the right thing here.

  9. BattleCat said on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:40 pm:
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    OK, I’ll give Bush ONE right thing in his Presidency. The fact that “he’s kept us safe” with open borders policies, that was luck, pure and simple. And sure, luck counts too, but I don’t give Bush much credit for that. Good job, Bush, it only took a couple million calls, faxes, etc.

  10. Big Dog said on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:43 pm:
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    Better late than never - thank you President Bush -
    who said you couldn’t do anything right?

  11. JM said on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:48 pm:
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    He ALMOST got this one right. Ramos and Compean will have their sentences commuted and be released within two months. However, GWB did not pardon the two agents, and the convictions remain on their records. For justice to be served, these agents should have been pardoned.

  12. rebelreggie said on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:50 pm:
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    Bush commutes sentences of former US border agents - Yahoo! News
    WASHINGTON 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.

  13. rebelreggie said on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:53 pm:
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    The prison sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Joe Compean will now end March 20.

    Ramos had received an 11-year prison sentence; Compean had received a 12-year sentence.

    “The president has reviewed the circumstances of this case as a whole and the conditions of confinement and believes the sentences they received are too harsh and that they, and their families, have suffered enough for their crimes,” a senior administration official said.

    “Commuting their sentences does not diminish the seriousness of their crimes. Ramos and Compean are convicted felons who violated their oaths to uphold the law and have been severely punished,” the official stated.

    “This commutation gives them an opportunity to return to their families and communities, but both men will have to carry the burden of being convicted felons and the shame of violating their oaths for the rest of their lives.”

    The official noted that both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have supported a commutation, including President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and Texas GOP Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn.

  14. rebelreggie said on 19 Jan 2009 at 3:57 pm:
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    Crawler across bottom of Fox News screen. William Ayers is turned back at Canadian border. He was going to Canada for a speaking engagement.

  15. Johnson said on 19 Jan 2009 at 4:45 pm:
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    I saw it. They turned him back for being associated with a terrorist group.

  16. Billy Bob said on 19 Jan 2009 at 5:19 pm:
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    Yeah, Johnson. Part of his group is being sworn in tomorrow as our POUS.
    What a team!

  17. freedom said on 19 Jan 2009 at 5:30 pm:
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    …but they’ve repented!

  18. Benton said on 19 Jan 2009 at 6:01 pm:
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    Repented??? Sounds like born agains - when they ‘forget’ their first lives…… Gee whiz…. Just what we need.

  19. Cheetah said on 19 Jan 2009 at 6:33 pm:
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    these guy’s are so lucky, I’m happy they received their commutation, they deserve it.

  20. legal2 said on 19 Jan 2009 at 8:51 pm:
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    And GWB also re-affirmed National Sanctity of Human Life Day (the 3rd Sunday of January) so started by Ronald Reagan, and ignored through Clinton’s 8 yrs of hell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Sanctity_of_Human_Life_Day

  21. Crystal Clear Conservative said on 19 Jan 2009 at 9:43 pm:
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    Bush did the right thing.

  22. NoVA Scout said on 19 Jan 2009 at 10:03 pm:
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    Keep in mind that this was a commutation, not a pardon. They aren’t free, but they will be in March. Conservatives take a dim view of police officers who do not respect the law. As rebelreggie notes, the White HOuse statement emphasizes that these guys violated the law and their oaths. Many of the commenters here are totally intolerant of any level of infractions of the law. The issue addressed by the President was whether the sentences were overly severe. The President has tempered justice with mercy. He deplores the crime, but shows mercy given the impact of the sentences on these guys and their families.

  23. Pat.Herve said on 19 Jan 2009 at 10:06 pm:
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    and where is the rule of law??

    Didn’t these men(?) shoot an unarmed man in the buttocks? as he was running away from them. Then, they tried to cover up the incident by removing the shell casings, and then, they did not report the incident or the firing of their weapons - the only reason why I can fathom that they did not report the incident is that they knew they were in the wrong.

    So, the Rule of Law is for the cause/law that we want to agree with, but not when it suits us. Maybe I just do not understand the details in the case.

  24. monticup said on 19 Jan 2009 at 10:44 pm:
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    Bush did not pardon Ramos and Compean as he should have. Johnny Sutton was a Nifong but he got away with it. Bush allowed Sutton to take years from these men’s lives just to curry favor with the Mexican gov’t.

    Good riddance, Jorge Bush–our idiot president who let a third world country give him marching orders.

  25. Anonymous said on 19 Jan 2009 at 11:56 pm:
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    Johnson said on 19 Jan 2009 at 4:45 pm: Flag comment

    I saw it. They turned him back for being associated with a terrorist group.

    The Canadian goverment recognized that fact but not our President-elect.

  26. rebelreggie said on 20 Jan 2009 at 6:16 am:
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    illegals are calling the pol… and asking to be arrested,so they can get deported….lmao

    SOUTHOLD, N.Y. Police on Long Island arrested a man after he allegedly kicked a police car and asked to be deported back to his home country of Guatemala. Police said the 27-year-old man called the Southold Police Department early Sunday and asked to be arrested so he could be deported.

    Police said that when officers arrived at the scene, they told him he could not be arrested because he had not committed a crime.

    That’s when, according to police, the man kicked the driver’s side door of their patrol car. The man was arrested and charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.

    Details of his arraignment were not immediately available.

  27. DPortM said on 20 Jan 2009 at 8:38 am:
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    A commutation for these men is better than nothing but Bush should have pardoned them. But that wouldn’t be politically correct for Bush who is a RINO.

  28. zeezil said on 24 Jan 2009 at 12:17 am:
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    Mexican government lobbied to prevent Ramos, Compean from being released

    On yesterday’s Lou Dobbs show, Casey Wian said this about the Ramos and Compean commutation:

    “Mexico’s Deputy Secretary of Foreign Relations Carlos Rico (ph) said, quote, “this is a message of impunity, it’s difficult to understand.” He also acknowledged that Mexican officials had lobbied hard to prevent the former Border Patrol agent’s release.”

    UPDATE: There’s much more on this in the 1/22 transcript: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0901/22/ldt.01.html

    Various congressmen think there was extensive involvement by the Mexican government in the case; hopefully an investigation into contacts between that government and the Bush administration will be launched.

  29. zeezil said on 24 Jan 2009 at 12:18 am:
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    Mr. Frank Jorge, founder of the Antelope Valley Independent Minutemen in an e-mail to Donald A. Collins of FAIR (Federation of American Immigration Reform):

    “The false imprisonment and politically motivated persecution of Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean has taken a positive turn with the commutation of their sentences by George W. Bush on his last day as president. It has been reported that Texas congressman, John Culberson hand delivered a bi-partisan request from Texan government officials (34 of 37 ) for an end to the unjust imprisonment of these men whom many of us hold in high esteem and regard as American heroes.

    The terms of the commutation are as follows:
    -Both will be on probation for three years under terms of the presidential order
    -The two men remain on file as felons
    -They will not be released until March 20, 2009
    -The conviction will stay on their records

    They will be on supervised release

    These men, Compean and Ramos, continue to be victimized by the George Bush political machine. They should be exonerated, their records wiped clean, their jobs restored with back pay, an apology, and restitution for the injustice they and their families have endured made.

    A further investigation into the machinations of Texas prosecutor Johnny Sutton and all others involved in the framing of these officers must be made and justice meted out with the probable incarceration of Sutton and his accomplices as its goal. George Bush has without doubt reflected upon the liabilities to himself as a former president going back to Texas where he has decided to live. He granted a commutation in order to spare himself…not the two agents.

    Why do they have to wait two months before being released from prison? They should have been released long ago. This was a politically motivated prosecution from the beginning with the purpose of making Border Patrol agents think twice before protecting our borders and to keep the borders open.

    Of the prosecution of these agents Texas Rep Ted Poe said in November, “These two guys are political prisoners”. Los Angeles California Radio station KFI’s John and Ken have said that they will host a fund raiser for the agents and their families in the near future . Joe Loya, father in law of agent Ramos said that he had faith that this day would come. I thank those of you that attended our AVIMM rally held in Santa Clarita along with Roger Gitlin’s SCVIMM a few months back and met Joe Loya and his family. Thank you once again for your donations made on that day directly to Mr Loya.

    President Bush leaves office as possibly the worst president in American history. A man who will be remembered as a small, petty human being that sacrificed our nations honor to illegal aliens from third world countries for political gain. He will be remembered for having kept the borders open in spite of the public outcry to secure them and to enforce immigration law.

    Bush’s presidency after eight years has seen America degraded as our nation’s wealth evaporated on his watch and thousands of Americans grieve after their loved ones were murdered or assaulted by the illegal aliens that he allowed into our nation. He will be remembered for having destroyed the Republican Party, the stability of our nation and the hopes of its citizens.”


  30. zeezil said on 24 Jan 2009 at 12:19 am:
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    Ramos and Compeon article compilation on Digger’s Realm blog:

  31. Cynic said on 1 Feb 2009 at 2:59 pm:
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    Commutations - better than nothing, but they should have been granted full pardons.

    And, who care what Mexico and the Open Border crowd think about their release.

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