Thursday, July 19, 2007

Feinstein Gets It About Ramos and Compean

I haven't really blogged about former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. I've just referred to them here and there. Their case is a tough one to understand, tough enough that the Senate held hearings recently to try to do just that.

WorldNetDaily has been following the story for some time, and they reported Tuesday about Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chaired the hearings.

After presiding over a Senate hearing today, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has decided to ask President Bush to commute the sentences of former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, an aide for the California Democrat told WND.

Following the Senate judiciary committee's examination of the controversial prosecution, according to Gerber, the senator said "it became very clear the sentences did not match the crime."

Ramos and Compean are serving 11- and 12-year prison sentences, respectively, after a jury convicted them of violating federal gun laws and covering up the shooting of a drug smuggler as he fled back to Mexico after driving across the border with 742 pounds of marijuana. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's office gave the smuggler, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, immunity to serve as the government's star witness and testify against the border agents.

Feinstein concluded the hearing today with a vow to look further into why prosecutors charged the men under section 924(c) of the U.S. code, which requires a 10-year sentence for using or carrying a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.

Feinstein, during questioning of Sutton, argued the statute did not apply to Ramos and Compean in their pursuit of a drug smuggler at the Mexican border, because there was no underlying crime.

Gerber told WND that Feinstein has concluded the use of 924(c) was "prosecutorial overreach."

When conditions get so obvious that even one of California's senators (granted, the less stupid one) can recognize the injustice, you know it's bad. And when previous pleading with the President by Republican lawmakers on Ramos and Compean's behalf has had no effect, you know the President has a tin ear on border issues.

Let's hope Sen. Feinstein can finally get through to President Bush, and get these Border Patrol agents out of prison.

For more background on the case, the WND article has plenty of links to "Previous Stories" for you to choose from.

1 comment:

Malott said...

I listened to Prosecutor Johnny Sutton on the Glen Beck radio show... I'm sure Bush's hesitance to pardon the border agents has to do with his loyalty to this man.