February 16, 2007


Not a pardonable offense (Ruben Navarrette, February 10, 2007, San Diego Union-Tribune)

According to the evidence presented at the trial, including the agents' testimony and their statements after the incident, here are the facts.

On Feb. 17, 2005, about 1 p.m., Compean and Ramos were on duty along the U.S.-Mexico border when they observed a suspicious vehicle - a van that turned out to be loaded with 700 pounds of marijuana.

The driver - later identified as Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila - jumped out of the vehicle and tried to run back into Mexico.

Ramos and Compean testified they made a point of looking at the suspect's hands and saw no weapon. Compean fired at least 14 rounds and Ramos fired once.

Ramos wounded the suspect and saw him limp into Mexico. The agents collected the shell casings and filed false reports, trying to cover up the incident.

The case has become a cause célèbre for radio talk-show hosts, anti-immigrant groups, congressional Republicans, Minuteman vigilantes and cable television talkers with a knack for turning ranting into ratings.

The convictions also have been sucked into the wind tunnel of the immigration debate and turned Republican hard-liners into bleeding hearts.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 16, 2007 7:58 AM

Everything and anything is "pardonable" if the politics says it is.

These guys are bozos, but they don't deserve 15 years, and they don't deserve to be beaten to death in prison.

Commute their sentences to a "Club Fed" and let them out after a year. They will do just fine on the lecture circuit.

Posted by: Bruno at February 16, 2007 8:51 AM

Agree, Bruno. I was a federal prosecutor for ten years (in the Clinton DOJ, no less) and the sentence is completely out of whack. They would have gotten a fraction of the time if they had accepted a bribe from the same drug dealer.

Posted by: Lisa at February 16, 2007 10:44 AM

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Posted by: oj at February 16, 2007 11:31 AM

Compean deserves prison time for being such a bad shot. 14 shots, no hits.

The use of immunity bothers me a little in that the dealer got off. However, it is important to weed out bad cops, which from what I hear of the case is what they were.

The President should not pardon them but a commuation at the end of his term would be fair.

By the way, read the comments at the Navarrette article for the reason OJ calls immigration opponents racists.

Posted by: Bob at February 16, 2007 11:45 AM

The agents collected the shell casings and filed false reports, trying to cover up the incident.

That, kids, is why they're in prison. You cannot allow a law enforcement officer to make false reports and continue to serve unpunished. Period. Full stop.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 16, 2007 12:51 PM

Unpunished - did they deserve 15 years?

Did the judge release their portions of the transcript yet?

Until they do, there can't be an appeal. The judge has an agenda. How can the transcript of the trial be ready except for the defendants' testimony?

Homeland Security lied. Big time.

Posted by: at February 16, 2007 12:55 PM

Yes, they deserve 15 years.

Posted by: oj at February 16, 2007 3:52 PM
« A MUST: | Main | SKIMMING THEIR CREAM (via Tom Morin): »