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Bush Grants Commutations to Border Agents

POSTED: 01:08 PM ET, 01/20/2009 by Derek Kravitz


Ignacio Ramos


Jose Compean

In one of his final official acts, President Bush commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents yesterday who were convicted of shooting a fleeing Mexican drug dealer in 2005.

The agents, Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, were working near El Paso, Texas when they shot Osvaldo Aldrete Dávila, a drug smuggler caught with 743 pounds of marijuana. Davila was shot in the buttocks.

Davila later filed a complaint against the two agents, who said they thought Davila was threatening them with a gun. Compean and Ramos were convicted and sentenced to 12 and 11 years in federal prison, respectively, on weapons charges (timeline of events).

Appeals for their commutation came in from Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and California Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein.

Officials close to Bush said he did not plan to issue any further clemency orders before leaving office today. It appears that a large group of politically-connected felons, including junk-bond king Michael Milken, former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards (D) and former GOP congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham failed to get a pass from Bush.

By Derek Kravitz |  January 20, 2009; 1:08 PM ET
Previous: Border Agents Win Early Release, Cheney Records Dispute, Facebook Mafiosi? | Next: Questions Over Clinton Nomination, Obama Halts Federal Regulators, Failed Bid for Stevens Pardon

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As a Canadian, all I can say about this commute is....Sucks to be you and your failed bid for commute..Conrad Black..and I never thought I would say this but, thanks George.

Posted by: tarobson | January 20, 2009 5:21 PM

Hopefully ex President George Walker Bush, Vice President Dick Chey, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, I Scooter Libby, Richard Perle and the rest of the Scum from the Bush Administration and the PNAC will all end up at the Hague being tried for International War Crimes. None of them are above International Law.

Posted by: george33 | January 21, 2009 4:59 PM

The key words here are "drug smuggler caught with 743 pounds of marijuana" This was marijuana that could have been the gateway drug which would eventually destroy the lives of dozens of American kids. The sympathy and skewing of the story of this smuggler has amazed me. I just saw him described in one liberal report as a "Mexican immigrant"--no mention of the smuggling. The conviction of these border agents was partially based on the testimony of this smuggler. I say it is past the time that these agents were allowed to return to their children. I just wish it could have been a full pardon that President Bush issued.

Posted by: ageeford | January 25, 2009 5:16 PM

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