It's become pretty clear that the Ramos-Compean prosecution is not an anomaly but is part of a policy pattern. In the district adjacent to Johnny Sutton's, Border Patrol Agent David Sipe was convicted in 2001 for using excessive force against an illegal immigrant coyote.
The U.S. prosecutor gave immunity to the Mexican criminal in exchange for his testimony and also withheld exculpatory evidence from Sipe. Because of this prosecutorial misconduct, the district court granted Sipe's motion for new trial, but incredibly, the U.S. prosecutor appealed that decision.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the order for a new trial and, instead of dropping the case, the U.S. Attorney forced Sipe to stand trial again. He was acquitted Jan. 26.
Sipe is now free, after losing seven years of his life and all his savings, while the illegal immigrant coyote bought a ranch in Mexico with the $80,000 payoff he was given by the U.S. government.
Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez of Edwards County, Texas, was prosecuted by Johnny Sutton for a 2005 incident in which Hernandez allegedly used excessive force against a fleeing carload of illegal immigrants. He was convicted Dec. 1, 2006.
Sutton requested a prison term of seven years, but fortunately the judge sentenced him to one year. Maybe that was a rebuke to Sutton.
We want to know if these unjust prosecutions were demanded by the Mexican government. You should make public the messages between your Justice Department and Mexico in regard to these cases.
We simply cannot have a national policy of intimidating our border guards from arresting drug smugglers - or even defending themselves against smugglers (who should be presumed to be armed and dangerous). We don't want Ramos and Compean to be the hallmark of your administration's border policy.
Respectfully, Phyllis Schlafly
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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