To be honest, I didn’t think that George Bush was going to do the right thing and pardon Ramos and Compean. He didn’t do it when Republicans in Congress were raising hell about it, he didn’t do it when he could have benefitted politically from it, and he has never given the slightest inclination that he was even considering it.
But today, at the last possible moment, George Bush finally came through and commuted their sentences,
On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the two were just doing their jobs. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.
Their prison sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
The two were sentenced in connection with the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was shot in the buttocks while trying to flee along the Texas border. He admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot and pleaded guilty last year to drug charges related to two other smuggling attempts.
It’s tempting for me to complain that Bush should have done this earlier or to kvetch because they still have to stay in prison until March 20th, but I’m just grateful that two decent men aren’t going to have to unjustly waste anymore of their lives in prison.
PS: My former employer, Duncan Hunter, made the case for pardoning Compean and Ramos. You can read what he had to say about the case here.