Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.) and Sen. Dianna Feinstein (D.-Calif.) sent a letter to President Bush Wednesday asking him to commute the sentences of former U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
The agents were sentenced last year to 11 and 12 years in prison, respectively, for non-fatally wounding a Mexican national named Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, who was smuggling 743 pounds of marijuana across the border. The agents fired shots at Davila after he refused to obey their commands to stop and was running away from them.
On July 18, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing, chaired by Feinstein instead in place of Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.), to examine the prosecution of the Ramos and Compean. In their letter to President Bush the next day, Feinstein and Leahy wrote, “That hearing confirmed the concerns raised by many members of the public: that this penalty levied on these Agents is excessive and that they deserve the immediate exercise of your Executive clemency powers.”
In the House, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R.-Calif.) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.) are sponsoring a resolution to issue a congressional pardon for the Agents. Hunter, who is running for the GOP’s nomination for President, said the sentencing was “the most severe injustice [he has] ever seen for a Border Patrol Agent or any other uniformed officer.” Their resolution has 100 cosponsors.
In an interview with CNS News, Rohrabacher said Feinstein’s support for a commutation was a “turning point in the battle for justice for Ramos and Compean.”
“When Sen. Feinstein, being a Democrat and such a powerful member of the Senate, gets involved, it is a signal to other Democrats that this is not a partisan issue on the part of Republicans, and it isn't about illegal immigration,” Rohrabacher said. “It's about justice for these two men."
The letter Cornyn and Feinstein sent to President Bush on July 18 is below:
Dear President Bush:
On October 19th of last year, former Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were sentenced to 11 years and 1 day, and 12 years, respectively, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas for the events surrounding their attempt to apprehend a drug trafficker who was delivering 743 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.2 million.
Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a fact-finding hearing on this case. That hearing confirmed the concerns raised by many members of the public: that this penalty levied on these Agents is excessive and that they deserve the immediate exercise of your Executive clemency powers.