Friday, January 19, 2007

UPDATE: Jailed Border Agents

"How is it that U.S. Border Patrol agents can get over ten years in jail for doing their job, firing at suspected drug dealers?

Well, they did.

And they got the book thrown at them because the U.S. government gave IMMUNITY to those suspected drug dealers to testify against the U.S. agents.

The neo-politically-correct attitude seems to be: Never mind the 743 pounds of marijuana reportedly found in a van used by these government "witnesses", just nail the insensitive border agents who dare to oppose suspected drug smugglers."

An El Paso judge ruled against a request by border control agents Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean to remain free and on bail while their case was appealed:

"Because defendant has been convicted of a crime of violence, he is eligible for release pending appeal only for `exceptional reasons,"' Judge Kathleen Cardone's response to the motion read. "The court finds that no `exceptional reasons' exist in this case."

They surrendered Wednesday.

In response Rep. Duncan Hunter(R) introduced a bill Thursday to pardon the two former Border Patrol agents for doing their job.

"It is irresponsible to punish them with jail time," Hunter, who is expected to run for the GOP presidential nomination, said in a statement released Thursday. "This conviction demoralizes our nation's Border Patrol and sends a clear message that we are not serious about protecting our borders and enforcing our immigration laws."

Hunter's bill, which calls the conviction and sentences of the two men "an extreme injustice," would test the powers of Congress. The Constitution grants the president the power to pardon but is silent on whether Congress has that authority.

President Bush said Thursday that a presidential pardon was possible for the former agents.

"There's a process for pardons," Bush said, adding that the case has to work its way through the system. In an interview with KFOX-TV in El Paso, Bush urged people to "take a sober look at the case." "People need to take a tough look at the facts, the evidence a jury looked at, as well as the judge. And I will do the same thing," Bush said. (source)

At least Bush is finally talking about it. I guess that's something.

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