Two outstanding patriots who defended our nation's borders against illegal invaders and who were the victims of judicial terrorism administered by a rogue Federal prosecutor received justice...of sorts...on January 19th, 2009. Although the Bush Administration did not grant Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos the full pardon they clearly deserve, the Administration at least agreed to commute their sentences. They will be released from prison on March 20th.
Utah media stories and local reaction published by the Deseret News and the Provo Daily Herald. National stories published by CNN, ALIPAC, WorldNetDaily, the Washington Times, the El Paso Times, and KFOX Channel 14 in El Paso. In addition, considerable support for Compean and Ramos is also being expressed on Stormfront, which is proof that being pro-White does NOT require one to be anti-Latino. YouTube video of Fox News report embedded below:
A senior administration official explained that this is a commutation, NOT a pardon. President Bush still believes that the border agents received fair trials and that the verdicts were just, but he also believed their sentences were excessive and that they had already suffered the loss of their jobs, freedom and reputations. So he chose commutation rather than a full pardon. But although their convictions remain in force, the two will be released from prison by March 20th.
Nevertheless, even this watered-down, ambiguous decision 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. Grass-roots public reaction is also favorable; in El Paso, Texas, where the Ramos family lives, an El Paso Times poll shows that nearly 80 percent of respondents favor either the commutation of the sentences or an outright pardon of the two ex-agents.
Based on a timeline of events published in the Houston Chronicle, augmented by information from the National Border Patrol Council, the Ramos-Compean blog, the ImmigrationProf blog, and a July 2007 CNN story, here is a brief recap of the agents' ordeal. It all started in February 2005, when Compean and Ramos encountered Osvaldo Adrete-Davila, who was suspected of hauling 750 pounds of marijuana across the border. Aldrete immediately tried to flee back to Mexico, but the agents, believing Aldrete to be armed, shot Aldrete in the rear and wounded him.
Compean and Ramos were subsequently charged with assault, weapons offenses, obstruction of justice, and a civil rights violation, and are convicted in March 2006. The prosecutor, Johnny Sutton, granted Aldrete blanket amnesty in exchange for his testimony. In October 2006, Compean was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, while Ramos received 11 years and one day. In February 2007, after prison officials deliberately placed Ramos in general population with illegal immigrants to intimidate him, Ramos was brutally beaten by five of them after they saw Ramos on America's Most Wanted. Ramos suffered three herniated disks and a fractured shoulder from the assault.
A national campaign spearheaded by WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah and ALIPAC was then launched to get the sentences overturned. In July 2007, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing regarding the convictions. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton was hauled before the committee to defend his handling of the case, where he repeated his assertions that the two agents shot an unarmed man and then tried to cover up the evidence — a position Sutton said was upheld by a jury in El Paso, Texas. While Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) acknowledged that the shooting might have been covered up initially, she called for President Bush to review their "excessive" sentences. Separately, the U.S. House voted to block the Bureau of Prisons from holding Compean and Ramos.
Meanwhile, Compean and Ramos appealed their convictions. In July 2008, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upholds most of the convictions, but the ruling forces resentencing hearings. In November 2008, Compean and Ramos are formally resentenced to their original federal prison terms.
And what about Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila? Did he show gratitude for the Feds' free pass? Absolutely not; predictably, he re-offended. In November 2007, Aldrete was charged with smuggling marijuana in separate incidents several months after the shooting. Finally, in April 2008, Aldrete pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, and one count each of conspiracy to import a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute. And to add further insult to injury, Aldrete has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming that his civil rights were violated.
The only crime Compean and Ramos committed was failure to shoot straight, and the only appropriate sentence would have been remedial weapons training. This wetback should have been capped permanently. Anyone who sneaks into our country, regardless of ethnicity, is a wetback.
Administration officials indicate that no other pardons are contemplated. This means former Alaska U.S. Senator Ted Stevens is unlikely to receive a pardon.