Sunday, January 18, 2009

Time is quickly running out for Bush to pardon Border Patrol agents

With just over 48 hours remaining in office, President Bush is being urged by lawmakers to commute the sentences of two former Border Patrol agents serving time in federal prison.

Agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos are each serving sentences of more than 10 years for shooting a Mexican drug runner. They were wrongly convicted for protecting the United States against a criminal illegal crossing the US border.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who has taken up the cause in the House, held a press conference last week urging U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor in the case, to support commutation.

Rohrabacher said: “We are asking Sutton to look into his heart as a prosecutor and advise the President to commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean so they will not spend the next ten years in solitary confinement.”

Republican Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California sent a letter to President Bush in 2008 asking for a commutation of the sentence. The letter followed a Senate hearing examining the case.

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