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Bush commutes sentences for Ramos, Compean

By Josh Richman
Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 10:07 am in President Bush.

This just in… In his final day in office, President George W. Bush today issued commutations to a pair of former Border Patrol agents serving prison sentences for the shooting of an unarmed drug dealer on the border in early 2005. This case had become a rallying point for conservatives and those who favor a sharp crackdown on illegal immigration across the U.S. border. Here’s the release:

WASHINGTON – On Jan. 19, 2009, President George W. Bush granted commutations of sentence to two individuals:

Jose Alonso Compean – El Paso, Texas

  • Offense: Assault with a dangerous weapon, and aiding and abetting, 18 USC § 7, 113 and 2; assault with serious bodily injury, and aiding and abetting, 18 USC § 7, 113 and 2; discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, 18 USC § 924; deprivation of rights under color of law, 18 USC § 242.
  • Sentence: Nov. 12, 2008; Western District of Texas; 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release following the prison term, $2,000 fine.
  • Terms of commutation: Prison sentence to expire on March 20, 2009, leaving intact and in effect the three year term of supervised release with all its conditions and the fine.
  • Ignacio Ramos, a/k/a Ignacio Ramos Jr. – El Paso, Texas

  • Offense: Assault with a dangerous weapon, and aiding and abetting, 18 USC § 7, 113 and 2; assault with serious bodily injury, and aiding and abetting, 18 USC § 7, 113 and 2; discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, 18 USC § 924; deprivation of rights under color of law, 18 USC § 242.
  • Sentence: Nov. 13, 2008; Western District of Texas; 11 years and one day in prison, three years of supervised release following the prison term, $2,000 fine.
  • Terms of commutation: Prison sentence to expire on March 20, 2009, leaving intact and in effect the three year term of supervised release with all its conditions and the fine.
  • UPDATE @ 10:12 A.M. MONDAY: I must note that while the case did indeed become a cause celebre for many conservatives, the government’s prosecution of these two men garnered criticism from a wide range of people across the political spectrum. After the Senate Judiciary Committee probed the case in 2007, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., co-signed a letter urging President Bush to take the action he took today.

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