Ramos and Compean’s sentences commuted

For several months the Constitution Party has been passing resolutions, sending out email alerts, and publishing editorials concerning imprisoned border patrol agents Ramos and Compean. The Constitution Party’s 2008 Presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin, also called for a pardon. Today, George Bush commuted Ramos and Compean’s sentences.

In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited fierce debate about illegal immigration.

Bush’s decision to commute the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who tried to cover up the shooting, was welcomed by both Republican and Democratic members of Congress. They had long argued that the agents were merely doing their jobs, defending the American border against criminals. They also maintained that the more than 10-year prison sentences the pair was given were too harsh.

116 thoughts on “Ramos and Compean’s sentences commuted

  1. Trent Hill Post author

    I dont think so. Speculation that they might’ve acted defensively or attack offensively were never really proven, I dont think. Whatever the results, I think 10 years was a bit much.

  2. Steven R Linnabary

    Speculation that they might’ve acted defensively or attack offensively were never really proven, I dont think

    The two thugs shot a man in the back. That is hardly “defensive”. Their only defense was that the man’s travel papers were not in order, and that he supposedly was in a nontraditional sales profession.

    PEACE

  3. Trent Hill Post author

    Steven,

    They said that they ordered him to stop and he did not. He then whirled around with something in his hand, which they suspected to be a gun.

    Do I think they were right to shoot him? No. But 10 years is excessive.

  4. Trent Hill Post author

    No, he isnt. The men didnt deserve to be pardoned, but they didnt deserve a decade in jail either.

  5. Trent Hill Post author

    If they were a privatized police force authorized to defend a scrap of property and someone trespassed and then ran away and they thought he pulled out a gun?

    He’d be dead and the privatized agents would be well-paid.

  6. Steven R Linnabary

    According to the LP commentary, the two men merely had their sentences commuted, not pardoned.

    It is a subtle difference, that isn’t all that clear in the LP commentary. But at least they did bring it up.

    PEACE

  7. Trent Hill Post author

    But…unfortunately they ARE gaurding borders that they have been ordered to gaurd using certain methods, techniques, and strategies. I understand you philosphically disagree with a gaurded border, but it is these men’s job to gaurd the border. When a gun was thought to have been pulled on them, they shot. I think they should’ve gotten jail…but not a decade.

  8. Trent Hill Post author

    “It is a subtle difference, that isn’t all that clear in the LP commentary. But at least they did bring it up.”

    I dont think it’s all that subtle. A Pardon would say they did nothing wrong and whipe their slates clean. A commutation leaves them in prison for a couple months and the crime stays on their records. Like I said, these men deserved punishment, but not 10 years.

  9. paulie cannoli

    If you and Joe Dirt were driving down the road, and decided to pursue someone you figured for an “illegal alien” (what a Godawful term) because he had some marijuana in his van, and shot him in the back, and then claimed you thought he pulled a gun, I suspect you and Joe would do some real time. At least, I would hope so.

  10. Steven Druckenmiller

    . I understand you philosphically disagree with a gaurded border, but it is these men’s job to gaurd the border.

    No, Mr. Hill, you have so much to learn. Anyone who does anything remotely connected to the EVIL and MURDEROUS State is to be condemned over and over for the entirety of history.

    Did I get that about right?

    Anyway, on a serious note, even minarchist me realizes that there is some need for borders.

  11. Trent Hill Post author

    It isnt me and Joe Dirt’s JOB to protect the “road”.

    Both sides attempt to skew the issues to their view. The agents did not know the marijuana was in the van. And it is in dispute as to whether they really “thought” they saw a gun–yet you claim they shot him and then “claimed” he pulled a gun.

    The facts are these (as Pushing Daisies’ narrator would say): These men were employed by the Federal Government to defend the border, so it was there job to pick up illegal aliens and deter them from crossing the border. When the man fled, they pursued him, they claim they thought he pulled a gun and they shot him. No gun was found, marijuana was. Those are the facts.

    In my opinion, they probably did think he’d pulled a gun. Why else would they shoot him? It isnt like they are racist hate-mongers, they’re both fellow-hispanics who would have no reason to hate another hispanic. They didnt discover the marijuana until later, so it wasnt becasue they thought he was a drug dealer. Was it just for kicks and giggles? I suppose that is possible, but it seems far more likely to me that they thought the man had a gun and shot him.

  12. Trent Hill Post author

    “Anyway, on a serious note, even minarchist me realizes that there is some need for borders.”

    Agreed. I dont want to limit immigration, I simply want to make sure no one is bringing in highly contagious and dangerous diseases or bringing in a nuclear weapon.

  13. Trent Hill Post author

    “No, Mr. Hill, you have so much to learn. Anyone who does anything remotely connected to the EVIL and MURDEROUS State is to be condemned over and over for the entirety of history.”

    This is stupid, of course. I do think the State is evil, but that doesnt mean every person associated with it is. Judge Grey is a member of “The State” and yet recieves praise from libertarian, as does Ron Paul. These men had a job to do that DID put them in harm’s way (because of bad immigration policies instated by politcians, NOT THEM).

  14. libertariangirl

    They said that they ordered him to stop and he did not. He then whirled around with something in his hand, which they suspected to be a gun.

    with all the respect due Trent , EVERYTIME law enforcement shoots unarmed people , they ALWAYS ‘thought they saw something in the hands’.

    you wouldnt expect them to say they just shot him with no justification would you?

    even if they did , and they did

  15. Trent Hill Post author

    libertariangirl,

    Then what was the real motive? As I previously explained, it couldnt have been racially motivated or related to the drugs, since they didnt know the drugs existed yet. Did they just do it for kicks? Neither man had a history of crimes, violence, or mental illness in their history–in fact both men were highly decorated.

    I am one to always question the actions of police or military members, and I still am here. I simply think 10 years is excessive.

  16. Trent Hill Post author

    “and they did”

    So now you were there and know there motivations? Libertarians (and CPers) have allowed their opinions on immigration and drugs to color this issue too much.

  17. Trent Hill Post author

    I caught your attempt at mockery, I was adding my thoughts to your not-so-gentle satirization.

  18. Steven Druckenmiller

    I think the hyperemotional and shrill tactics of the left have permeated libertarianism too much. Too many libertarians just want to scream “murder”, “theft”, “slavery” and the like. We used to be smarter than this.

  19. Trent Hill Post author

    “Too many libertarians just want to scream “murder”, “theft”, “slavery” and the like. We used to be smarter than this.”

    This might be my number one reason for identifying myself as Individualist or Minarchist,rather than Libertarian.

  20. paulie cannoli

    Trent,

    It isnt me and Joe Dirt’s JOB to protect the “road”.

    It could be. Me and Sam Sheets might be paying you and Joe Dirt to drive down the road and harass people you think look like “illegals” or might have marijuana. That me and Sam Sheets don’t own the road doesn’t matter – I don’t think the government legitimately owns the whole country, either, so “trespass” is not exactly the term I would use.

    The agents did not know the marijuana was in the van.

    I don’t know if they did or did not. How do you know tey were not tipped off?


    And it is in dispute as to whether they really “thought” they saw a gun–yet you claim they shot him and then “claimed” he pulled a gun.

    Two ways of saying the same thing. They claimed they thought he had a gun, which cops always claim when they shoot someone. Maybe they really did think that – I did not say they falsely claimed they thought he had a gun. But given that they shot him in the back, I don’t think they were shooting in self defense.


    In my opinion, they probably did think he’d pulled a gun. Why else would they shoot him?

    Any of a number of reasons.

    I don’t know if any of these could be true, they are purely speculation:

    For sport.

    He may have mouthed off to them or flipped them off.

    Maybe one of the agents had a cousin who had a dispute with the bother of the suspect back in Mexico.

    Maybe they wanted to steal his marijuana and sell it themeselves. You say they did not know he had any, but I don’t think that is so clear.

    Maybe one of the agents had a fight with his wife that morning and needed to take it out on somebody.

    Maybe they were in the pay of a rival drug smuggling organization.

    There could be all sorts of reasons.


    It isnt like they are racist hate-mongers, they’re both fellow-hispanics who would have no reason to hate another hispanic.

    Not necessarily true. There are many Mexican-Americans who were born in the US who dislike recent immigrants from Mexico.

    it seems far more likely to me that they thought the man had a gun and shot him.

    In the back?

  21. paulie cannoli

    “Anyway, on a serious note, even minarchist me realizes that there is some need for borders.”

    Agreed. I dont want to limit immigration, I simply want to make sure no one is bringing in highly contagious and dangerous diseases or bringing in a nuclear weapon.

    Would the same thing apply to state borders? County borders? City borders? How many checkpoints should we need to go through?

  22. Trent Hill Post author

    “It could be. Me and Sam Sheets might be paying you and Joe Dirt to drive down the road and harass people you think look like “illegals” or might have marijuana. That me and Sam Sheets don’t own the road doesn’t matter – I don’t think the government legitimately owns the whole country, either, so “trespass” is not exactly the term I would use. ”

    You dont own the road, so you cant pay me to “gaurd” public property. Whether you think it SHOULD be public property is a different discussion (one which we’d likely agree on) that has no bearing on this conversation. A road is not a good comparison. The Federal Government owns the border, whereas you dont own the road. A better comparison is you paying me to gaurd YOUR property, which is something I already tackled.

  23. Trent Hill Post author

    “Maybe they wanted to steal his marijuana and sell it themeselves. You say they did not know he had any, but I don’t think that is so clear.”

    Thats because you havent reviewed the details of the case, Paulie. A simply perusal of the case proves they had no idea about the marijuana until afterwards, unless you’re going to claim a massive conspiracy–which I wouldnt be surprised by.

  24. Michael Seebeck

    Secure borders is a national security and defense issue. Always has been. There have been reports of terrorists being coyoted across there, and the Mexican military has been seen in excursions well across the border. Plus, there’s the property rights of the landowners along the border that need be defended, and that *is* a proper role of government.

    Good fences make good neighbors. Period.

    There is a LOT more to this issue than is discussed here, including prosecutor and judicial misconduct in the case and a large railroad job at trial. KFI in LA has been following the case since Day 1 and has a ton of the skinny on it. This was much more than two border guards shooting a drug mule. There were political angles involved that came down DC, and Ramos and Campeon were just the poor saps caught in the middle of it. Frankly, IMO they should have been pardoned completely–this guy was a serial mule and coyote and felon, and he should have been the one on trial instead of being given complete immunity. The whole case stunk.

  25. A Reader

    Agents Ramos and Compean’s conviction was not only a gross miscarriage of justice and a violation of common sense, but was also unconstitutional and, therefore, unlawful, as the article linked below argues in great detail:

    The Blessings of Liberty
    http://tinyurl.com/koywm

    And to all those who are (wrongly) suggesting that an unusually harsh sentence was necessary to prevent abuse of power by Border Patrol agents, consider this.

    Mistreatment of border violators, and this includes drug smugglers who shoot at BP agents, are as rare as total eclipses of the moon, and once they happen, they are being reported and broadcasted coast to coast on all major TV networks.

    On the other hand, border violations are overwhelming the existing means of enforcement and are on the rise. Up to four million intruders a year illegally crosses the American-Mexican border headed north. This, however, is not news that you would see on MSNBC or CBS, and the perpetrators, if at al caught, are being given a slap on a wrist for the damage that they have inflicted to our country.

    Deterrence of criminal acts is one of the main objectives of the punishment. Judging from the results, punishments of border enforcement personnel must have been more than adequate deterrent, while punishments of the border violators were not.

    So, if you are so concerned about lawbreaking that may get off hands, soon, the logical conclusion should be to go after the border violators, and not the Border Patrol agents, with harsh punishment that would discourage others for disrespecting our country, its border, and the laws.

  26. libertariangirl

    Then what was the real motive? As I previously explained, it couldnt have been racially motivated or related to the drugs, since they didnt know the drugs existed yet. Did they just do it for kicks? Neither man had a history of crimes, violence, or mental illness in their history–in fact both men were highly decorated.

    Id have to say overworked and at odds with the illegal immigration problem . maybe fed up that nothing beings done and full of frustration at what seems useless . they see yet another illegal immigrant and he has the audacity to not stop when told.
    You say they werent racists , but race had nothing to do with it. They were on opposite sides of the fence , literally .

    One was ‘the man’ and the other a ‘criminal’.
    maybe they got fed up with frustration and careless with power and shit happened.
    do you know any security or law enforcement?

    for the most part it takes a certain kind of person to do that job , it takes a belief that you are better and the energy of one group having power over another is corruptible anyway.

    highly decorated in a profession such as that means nothing Trent . Lon Horiuchi is highly decorated too

  27. paulie cannoli

    The Federal Government owns the border, whereas you dont own the road.

    I don’t believe they legitimately own the border. Therefore I stand by my analogy.

  28. paulie cannoli

    A simply perusal of the case proves they had no idea about the marijuana until afterwards, unless you’re going to claim a massive conspiracy–which I wouldnt be surprised by.

    I don’t see why it would have to be massive at all. Criminal conspiracies do exist. I used to be involved with a few. Tipping off cops and having some on the payroll was part of the job.

  29. paulie cannoli

    Plus, there’s the property rights of the landowners along the border that need be defended, and that *is* a proper role of government.

    Property owners should pay to defend their own property. If they want to do so through a voluntarily financed association, or as a volunteer patrol, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t see what legitimately entitles them to do so at the expense of other people, or to create rules for other people’s property that they do not legitimately own.

  30. paulie cannoli

    So, if you are so concerned about lawbreaking that may get off hands, soon, the logical conclusion should be to go after the border violators, and not the Border Patrol agents, with harsh punishment that would discourage others for disrespecting our country, its border, and the laws.

    Or better yet, just open up the border and no victim = no crime.

  31. Trent Hill Post author

    “The Federal Government owns the border, whereas you dont own the road.

    I don’t believe they legitimately own the border. Therefore I stand by my analogy.”

    As I previously stated–it doesnt matter whether you believe they LEGITIMATELY own the border–only that they DO in fact own the border right now, so your analogy isnt adequate.

  32. Trent Hill Post author

    “Or better yet, just open up the border and no victim = no crime.”

    And when someone walks in and detonates a dirty bomb in downtown Dallas?
    There is a victim then, and a crime.

    Basically, your assertions that they deserve 10 years rest on your anarchist beliefs. Im a minarchist, so we have a fundamental disagreement here. I believe they deserved jailtime, but not 10 years. Let’s let it stand at that.

  33. Steven R Linnabary

    And when someone walks in and detonates a dirty bomb in downtown Dallas?
    There is a victim then, and a crime.

    Yup. And a dirt bag can walk into my town and rape and rob. So, according to you there should be checkpoints between our towns?

    PEACE

  34. paulie cannoli

    And when someone walks in and detonates a dirty bomb in downtown Dallas?
    There is a victim then, and a crime.

    No less so if they come from Oklahoma than if they come from Nuevo Laredo.

  35. paulie cannoli

    Basically, your assertions that they deserve 10 years rest on your anarchist beliefs.

    I highly doubt that the judge, jury and prosecutor in this case were all anarchists.

  36. paulie cannoli

    I think the hyperemotional and shrill tactics of the left have permeated libertarianism too much. Too many libertarians just want to scream “murder”, “theft”, “slavery” and the like.

    Please point out who has done so in this discussion, and where.

    Law enforcement agents usually get the benefit of the doubt, far more so than ordinary civilians, when it comes to shootings. That the prosecutor brought the case, and the judge/jury convicted, etc., seems to me to make a strong case that they were guilty as charged. So does the fact that they shot a man in the back.

    To claim as Trent does that they could not possibly have shot him unless they legitimately thought they were acting in self-defense defies logic. If that was always the presumption with law enforcement agents, no matter what, than anyone with a badge and a gun would have carte blanche to shoot anyone they wish, since they could never be held guilty – even after being tried, convicted and sentenced.

    If that was the case – as it already all too often is – then sociopathic sadists would certainly have a powerful incentive to join the ranks of law enforcement, even more so than they do already.

  37. paulie cannoli

    From a story on the CP website:


    They were convicted of shooting admitted drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the buttocks as he fled across the Rio Grande, away from an abandoned van load of marijuana. The border agents argued during their trials that they believed the smuggler was armed and that they shot him in self defense. The prosecutor in the case said there was no evidence linking the smuggler to the van of marijuana. The prosecutor also said the border agents didn’t report the shooting and tampered with evidence by picking up several spent shell casings.

    How do you shoot someone in self-defense in the buttocks?

  38. paulie cannoli

    As I previously stated–it doesnt matter whether you believe they LEGITIMATELY own the border–only that they DO in fact own the border right now, so your analogy isnt adequate.

    This argument seems to boil down to might makes right, which I reject.

  39. Trent Hill Post author

    “To claim as Trent does that they could not possibly have shot him unless they legitimately thought they were acting in self-defense defies logic.”

    Paulie, you don’t read so well. I said that I thought they likely acted inappropriately and I certainly never claimed that “they could not possible have shot him unless they legitimately thought they were acting in self defense”. That is nothing less than a bold faced lie.

  40. paulie cannoli

    Paulie, you don’t read so well. I said that I thought they likely acted inappropriately and I certainly never claimed that “they could not possible have shot him unless they legitimately thought they were acting in self defense”. That is nothing less than a bold faced lie.

    I’m referring to this statement:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/01/ramos-and-compeans-sentences-commuted/comment-page-1/#comment-36222

    In my opinion, they probably did think he’d pulled a gun. Why else would they shoot him?

  41. Trent Hill Post author

    “As I previously stated–it doesnt matter whether you believe they LEGITIMATELY own the border–only that they DO in fact own the border right now, so your analogy isnt adequate.

    This argument seems to boil down to might makes right, which I reject.”

    No, it doesnt. Try to follow.
    You claim that they acted illegimately because they are “harassing illegal aliens” that they dont like, or have some sort of deep rooted problem with. I replied that there JOB is to defend the land they patrol. You replied that it isnt their land to defend.
    That is patently false, though. The Government DOES own the land. Whether they should or not is an entirely different discussion. They DO own the land and the agents ARE authorized to defend it CURRENTLY.

  42. paulie cannoli

    The point I was trying to make was that the logic you used was basically, they must have thought he had a gun *because they shot him*. I was just pointing out that this is bad logic, especially when they already had a chance to make that case, got tried and convicted and sentenced. Also, it does not seem to me to make logical sense how someone gets shot in the ass in self-defense. That just does not compute.

  43. Trent Hill Post author

    “The point I was trying to make was that the logic you used was basically, they must have thought he had a gun *because they shot him*. ”

    No it wasnt.
    The logic was that they DID shoot him, so why would that happen? Referring to their own testimonials and that of the prosecutor–we see “motivations” laid out by both teams. I think the “we thought he had a gun” thing pans out a hell of a lot better than “They did it for shits and giggles.”

  44. paulie cannoli

    I replied that there JOB is to defend the land they patrol. You replied that it isnt their land to defend.

    True, I do not believe it is. Therefore their job is illegitimate.


    That is patently false, though. The Government DOES own the land.

    It makes that claim. Whether or not you consider that claim legitimate is a separate matter. All sorts of criminal gangs claim turf. That does not make that claim legitimate.

    But, again, even if it were, it was a government court which convicted these agents, so we can disagree on the issue of whether the government is legitimate, and still agree that these men abused their badge and shot a fleeing man in the back.

  45. paulie cannoli

    I think the “we thought he had a gun” thing pans out a hell of a lot better than “They did it for shits and giggles.”

    I don’t. The location of the entry wound points to some theory other than self-defense. Shits and giggles is only one of many possible alternate motivations, as I explained above.

  46. Trent Hill Post author

    “It makes that claim. Whether or not you consider that claim legitimate is a separate matter. All sorts of criminal gangs claim turf. That does not make that claim legitimate. ”

    It does more than make the claim, it enforces it. Im not argueing that they own it legitimately, only that they do in fact have control over it–a fact which is indisputable.

  47. Prospective Advertiser

    Bush is a thug who has sent thousands to their deaths, tens of thousands to be injured in combat, and has sent his military forces to massacre women and children in various countries. So, little wonder that Bush the thug has commuted the prison sentences of two thugs.

    The thugs in question, Ramos and Compean, shot an unarmed man in the back, then tried to cover it up. Since they are liars, we’ll never know the truth of this situation. The criminal injustice system which almost invariably takes the side of thugs in government was able to find evidence compelling to a jury that there was wrongdoing in this case.

    The thugs not only deserved to be convicted of felonies, and long prison terms, they deserved to be treated far more harshly than they were. I believe they got off easy, and will kill again.

    Libertariangirl is correct. Whenever thugs in government shoot someone in the back, they always accuse the victim of whirling about with something in his hands. In this case, the court was able to demonstrate that the victim was unarmed.

    I think the thugs who patrol the borders like to kill people. I’d be surprised that more cases don’t come out, except that the criminal injustice system protects its own.

  48. paulie cannoli

    It does more than make the claim, it enforces it. Im not argueing that they own it legitimately, only that they do in fact have control over it–a fact which is indisputable.

    Yes, but to claim that this has any impact on Ramos and Compean’s degree of guilt, you have to do one of two things: say that the claim is legitimate, therefore “they were just doing their jobs” – or say that might makes right, therefore they were just doing their jobs.

    Otherwise, you can equally say that a hitman for the mob is just doing his job.

    If the job is illegitimate in the first place, as I believe it is here, that is no excuse or mitigating factor.

    But suppose their job is legitimate and the border is legitimate; it still would not change the fact that they shot a man in the back, therefore not in self defense. It would not change the fact that it was government courts which heard the case and found them guilty, and a government judge who sentenced them.

    You don’t have to agree with me that the authority they exercised was illegitimate to start with to agree that they abused it.

  49. Michael Seebeck

    Google “Ramos ” + “Sarah Carter” and you find the real story of what happened, including the political angles.

    Sorry, folks, but the chatter on it here is missing a lot of crucial information. John and Ken on KFI have been covering it in depth since day one, and there is a helluvalot more here than just two border patrol agents shooting a drug mule.

  50. Michael Seebeck

    Paulie said @34:

    “Property owners should pay to defend their own property. If they want to do so through a voluntarily financed association, or as a volunteer patrol, that’s perfectly fine. I don’t see what legitimately entitles them to do so at the expense of other people, or to create rules for other people’s property that they do not legitimately own.”

    Sorry, Paulie. That argument fails on a simple point: defending the border is a national defense issue, as well as part of the immigration and naturalization rules issue, both constitutionally defined. Yes, people should be able to defend their own property–undoubtedly so–but when the owners are disarmed by state laws like here in CA and the mules and coyotes are known to be carrying AK47s or even more firepower, sometimes even escorted by corrupt platoons of the Mexican military, not to mention especially around the lawless states in Juarez and Tijuana, that isn’t as easy as it may seem in the theoretical. The constitutionally-defined part of the issue means using tax dollars to pay for it is a legitimate use of government funds, whether you agree with the power to tax or not, which is a different issue than this application.

    The mule was a repeat offender with a felony record a mile long, and he got transportation, medical care, and a free pass to come across the border as he saw fit (and ran more drugs) all on taxpayer money. He was entitled to none of it but got it because Johnny Sutton, a Bush appointee and close friend of W, saw this case during the amnesty debates as a way to make some spurs. These agents were facing life in prison for doing their jobs and shooting a mule in the butt, and meanwhile murderers who plead down to manslaughter get out faster. Sorry, that ain’t right.

    BTW, the jury was not allowed to hear of the mule’s past, either, including his criminal record, which is impeachment material on his testimony. That’s judicial misconduct.

  51. Thomas L. Knapp

    On the one hand, it’s a sad thing that these two goons got the lightest sentence allowed and then got cut loose early.

    On the other hand, at least it will give some exposure to just how evil and anti-American the Bush administration and the Know-Nothi … er, Constitution … Party are.

  52. Steven Druckenmiller

    Please point out who has done so in this discussion, and where.

    paulie, at the time you wrote it, you were right, but I was particularly prescient given Prospective Advertiser’s arrival on the scene, eh wot?

  53. paulie cannoli

    That argument fails on a simple point: defending the border is a national defense issue, as well as part of the immigration and naturalization rules issue, both constitutionally defined.

    I’m a libertarian, not a constitutionalist. The constitution may be of some us in limiting government, although I think it has largely failed to do so effectively, but I don’t accept is a reason to justify any group of people (calling themselves a “government”) having rights that individuals don’t normally have.

    Yes, people should be able to defend their own property–undoubtedly so–but when the owners are disarmed by state laws like here in CA

    …Then we should be working to get rid of the laws disarming them. One regime violation of rights does not justify another.

    mules and coyotes are known to be carrying AK47s or even more firepower

    What are mules and coyotes? Get rid of the illegitimate restrictions against certain chemicals and plants, and against workers going to where the jobs are, and the only mules and coyotes left would be the four legged kind.

    These agents were facing life in prison for doing their jobs and shooting a mule in the butt,

    See, there’s where I think you are wrong. Even if the drug and immigration laws were legitimate, and I don’t think for a minute that they are, and even if the government had a right to collect the taxes that paid for their jobs, their jobs were never to shoot people in the butt. That’s a criminal action no matter who does it.

    BTW, the jury was not allowed to hear of the mule’s past, either, including his criminal record,

    I don’t know what sort of criminal record could possibly justify allowing border patrol thugs to serve as judge, jury and would-be executioner and shoot a man in the ass.

  54. paulie cannoli

    was particularly prescient given Prospective Advertiser’s arrival on the scene, eh wot?

    Well, you can always count on Prospective Advertiser to do his thing, that should go without saying. You get a prize for that around the same time you get a prize for predicting that the sun will rise in the morning.

  55. paulie cannoli

    Google “Ramos ” + “Sarah Carter”

    Thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t read that much yet, but so far I have learned (or relearned – I may have known and forgot) that the agents did have a reason to believe that the man they shot was transporting drugs, contrary to what Trent said earlier that they did not know about it until afterwards, and that they caused him grievous and long-standing bodily injury.

  56. JohnCjacksn

    I don’t understand how ” They deserve to be punished, but 10 years is excessive.”

    I mean, I think they killed someone. On some level, I don’t really believe in prisons at all. In my perfect world they would pay damages to the families and some other punishment- I’m honestly not sure the best way to handle it. But since we do have the prison system and any “civilian” would be imprisoned fro this crime, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over these thugs being locked up.

    Going along with that, if we jail people for violent crimes, killing someone ranks up there. It may not be premeditated- so maybe they shouldn’t get Life. But whats wrong with 10 years? Is 10 years excessive for killing someone? When civilians defend themselves against state agents, they routinely get Life or DEATH.

    Why didn’t Bush pardon or commute someone like Corey Maye, who has an obvious self-defense case, or any number of of prisoners who have used self-defense against state thugs and been sentenced to rot in jail or be executed?

    That’s too much to ask, but commuting state employed killers- that’s something to celebrate!

    Give me a fucking break.

    I don’t buy the “they deserved punishment but not 10 years” line. Either you think they did the right thing and deserved NO prison time OR you think they were guilty of killing a man. I don’t see any in-between.

    If you think they deserved 0>10 years, then explain: What crime did they commit? And how many years is a fair punishment?

    There shouldn’t be any ” They didn’t do anything wrong, but they deserve to serve some time” prison sentences. OR Life/Death for a “civilian” but a state agent should be exonerated and celebrated for the same crime punishments.

    I would be OK if they got 20-25 years. I have no problem saying that. Their defenders should save the squishy bullshit and either say they deserved No Time or explain why they deserved something, but less than 10 years. “Criminals” get 10 years for not harming anyone, but 10 years for killing someone is excessive? What is the <10 year crime they supposedly committed?

  57. JohnCjacksn

    I realized a couple errors in what I wrote after I posted it ( some will probably point them out), but I stand by the general idea.

  58. JohnCjacksn

    what was the case, assault? How badly was this guy injured? I thought the guy died. I feel really stupid.

  59. JohnCjacksn

    I would say, since the guy lived..maybe 10 years would be OK. But I wouldn’t say it was excessive. I would have to modify the specifics, but not the general idea that they either committed a violent crime that would normally warrant a significant prison sentence OR they were in the right.

  60. paulie cannoli

    What really happened in border shooting?
    By PAULINE ARRILLAGA, AP National Writer

    FABENS, Texas – The prairie where it all happened is quiet now, but for the occasional Border Patrol vehicle passing by. A sign rests near a muddy ditch, “Stop Illegal Immigration,” left behind by protesters who have visited in homage to two ex-agents, imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler in the backside as he sprinted toward Mexico.

    Former U.S. Border Patrol Agent David Ham points toward the location at Fabens,
    Texas, on Monday, Feb. 5, 2007, where former Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos
    and Jose Alonso Compean shot drug smuggler Osvaldo Davila last year. The agents
    began serving prison sentences in January after their convictions in the incident.
    (AP Photo/Mark Lambie)

    It seems almost unimaginable that one moment in this lonely place ignited the furor that rages still — from the blogosphere to Congress — two years later.

    A jury convicted the agents of assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations. A federal judge meted out punishment: 12 years for Jose Alonso Compean; 11 for Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos. As the two men surrendered last month, demonstrators took to the streets, clutching U.S. flags and shrieking: “What kind of America do we have?”

    There have been claims of betrayal, hateful phone calls to prosecutors, warnings to President Bush from some fellow Republicans in Congress about taking sides with “the American people or … our enemies” — even threats of impeachment.

    Online petitions have demanded an independent probe and a pardon.

    “Commended illegal immigration heroes,” one Web site christened the convicted officers, whose supporters are disgusted that the so-called victim — “a doper” — went free, while the agents sit behind bars for “doing their job.”

    But what happened that February day in 2005 — and what’s happened since — isn’t as black and white as the us vs. them spin on the airwaves and the Internet, where facts are fleeting in the ever emotional debate over the nation’s borders.

    Consider one fact missing from the cyberspace chatter: In the El Paso Border Patrol sector, where Compean and Ramos were assigned, agents have fired their weapons 14 times in the line of duty since 2001 — including four fatal shootings. In one incident, a 19-year-old Mexican immigrant was shot to death by agents after he brandished a metal pipe.

    Each of those shootings, except one, was ruled a justifiable use of force, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio — a “good shoot,” in Border Patrol parlance.

    The exception was the Compean-Ramos case. What set it apart, a federal prosecutor told jurors at their trial: “They knew it was a bad shoot.”

    This case is different not simply because of the debate it inflamed but, as an Associated Press review of court documents, transcripts and exhibits shows, because of what transpired in a few life-changing moments out on that lonely prairie.

    ___

    “Did you guys copy? There’s a blue van leaving at 76. Going pretty quick.”

    It was 1:11 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2005, 30 miles east of El Paso in a hamlet of cotton fields and pecan orchards called Fabens.

    Agent Compean, a Border Patrol officer for five years, was on the radio calling in some tripped sensors at a spot known as area 76. He alerted his fellow officers that he suspected some sort of drug transaction was under way, and the agents of the Fabens Border Patrol station quickly responded.

    Oscar Juarez, a newer officer who’d spent six weeks as Compean’s field trainee, was in his vehicle not far from the Rio Grande — “pushing back” a group of 10 or more illegal immigrants, he would testify at trial. Pushing back means exhibiting a high-profile presence to ensure would-be crossers stay in Mexico rather than attempting to cross the river.

    Nacho Ramos, a senior agent with 10 years under his belt, was having lunch at the station when he heard the radio call.

    They, and five other agents, responded to Compean’s alert. Holding the line against illegal immigrants might be their primary job description, agents would testify, but taking down a drug load is an event every officer wants credit for.

    Juarez picked up the van first, following it north into Fabens. He hit his overhead lights, but instead of pulling over, the van sped up and headed back south toward the border. Ramos joined in the pursuit.

    “It’s close. We got this baby,” Juarez radioed at 1:19 p.m. It was his first car chase. “I was excited,” he testified.

    The road turned to dirt and came to a dead-end at a steep sewage ditch the agents call the Sierra Delta. It runs east to west, and was measured by investigators as 11-feet deep and 43-feet wide, too big to jump. It’s filled, at least ankle-high, with putrid, murky water. Beyond the ditch, facing south, is a slight incline, then a levee road that parallels the ditch and an open vega, or prairie, about half a football field in length. Beyond the vega is the Rio Grande, then Mexico.

    The van came to a stop at the edge of the ditch. Ramos pulled up behind it, followed by Juarez. Compean, having tracked the pursuit on the radio, stuck to the south side of the ditch and parked his truck on the levee road.

    The van driver, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, got out and ran for the canal, Mexico in his sights.

    “Parate! Parate!” Compean shouted, Spanish for “stop.”

    Compean pointed his shotgun at Aldrete. The driver raised his hands; they were empty, Compean, Juarez and Aldrete would all agree in statements to investigators and in court testimony.

    At least two men — Aldrete and Compean — reported hearing one of the other agents say, “Hit him.”

    “No me pegues,” Aldrete beseeched. “Don’t hit me.”

    Compean swung the butt of his weapon at Aldrete, Juarez testified, but Compean lost his balance and fell into the ditch, dropping his shotgun. (Compean insisted he wasn’t trying to hit the driver, only push him back.)

    Aldrete took off out of the ditch, over the levee and across the vega, headed for Mexico.

    The stories diverge from there.

    Juarez testified that he was walking to the van to inspect its contents when he heard shooting, turned and saw Compean firing his Beretta handgun. He said he saw Compean reload, fire a few more shots and then dash into the vega.

    Contradicting Juarez’s account, Compean insisted he recovered from his fall, chased after Aldrete and tackled him. Aldrete, he said, threw dirt in his face and took off running again. Compean said he started shooting because he thought he saw something in the suspect’s hand.

    “He was pointing something at me … it looked like a gun to me,” he testified. “It was something black, shiny, in his hand.”

    Ramos testified that he heard gunfire, ran into the vega and saw Compean on the ground.

    “I thought he had been shot, that he had been injured,” he told jurors. Ramos testified that he never stopped or asked Compean if he’d been hit, however, and instead ran past his fellow agent and fired one final shot at Aldrete because, “I believed I saw a gun.”

    Testimony revealed that Compean fired about 14 times, and Ramos once. Compean and Ramos holstered their weapons and walked back toward the drainage ditch. Some 743 pounds of marijuana were discovered inside the van.

    Aldrete testified that he never had any gun or anything “shiny” in his hands, and that he ran from Compean because the agent had tried to hit him and “I got scared.” More striking were the agents’ own conflicting stories and actions — and the statements of other Border Patrol officers who testified against them, including the five agents and two supervisors who showed up on the scene.

    Among the discrepancies:

    • In a handwritten statement to investigators, Compean said Ramos was “standing next to me” when Ramos took the final shot. At trial, Ramos testified that Compean was on the ground when he ran past him and fired. Compean testified that he was on one knee and getting to his feet when Ramos ran by him and fired, but he said he didn’t see Ramos shoot.

    • In his handwritten statement, Compean said he and Ramos saw Aldrete climbing out of the Rio Grande into Mexico and he “looked like he was limping.” In that statement Compean acknowledged, “I think Nacho might have hit him.” At trial, when asked if he’d “ever” thought Aldrete had been hit, Compean said no. Ramos testified, “I didn’t see him limping.”

    • Testimony revealed that Compean told some fellow agents that he and Aldrete had scuffled and that Aldrete threw dirt in his face; he told others he had slipped, and that’s how he got dirt in his face.

    Neither Ramos nor Compean reported the shooting, even after one of the supervisors on scene asked Compean if he’d been assaulted. Border Patrol policy requires that all weapon discharges — accidental or otherwise — be reported verbally to a supervisor within an hour.

    Once an agent-involved shooting is reported, a sector evidence team is dispatched to take measurements and pictures, and investigate what happened to allow supervisors to determine whether the shooting was justified. The FBI is called. The fired weapon is held for examination.

    None of this occurred that day.

    Instead, Compean admitted that he picked up his spent bullet casings, which would usually be preserved for the evidence team, and tossed them into the drainage ditch.

    The two agents had attended quarterly firearms training the day before the incident. Ramos was also a member of the sector evidence response team and a former firearms instructor.

    In his drug seizure report, Compean also failed to mention the gunfire or that Aldrete had a weapon. The report said only: “The driver was able to abscond back to Mexico.”

    Compean did tell at least two other agents that he fired at the driver. One was Art Vasquez, who testified that Compean asked him to look for additional shell casings. Vasquez testified that he found five and tossed them into the murky ditch, then called Compean to tell him he’d thrown them away.

    “So you destroyed the scene for someone that you worked with?” prosecutor Debra Kanof asked him at trial.

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    Vasquez, the two supervisors and other agents on scene all testified that neither Compean nor Ramos ever told them that the suspect pulled a gun or had something that looked like a gun. If Aldrete had been armed, the others testified, Compean and Ramos should have called out a warning.

    “I would have made an attempt to make sure as many people that were there on the scene and on the radio knew that there was a possibility of somebody in this area with a weapon,” testified 16-year Border Patrol veteran Lorenzo Yrigoyen, who was standing exposed on the levee road as Aldrete headed into Mexico.

    If Aldrete had actually been armed, one of the prosecutors asked him, “You were a sitting duck up there, weren’t you?”

    “Yes, sir,” Yrigoyen testified.

    Border Patrol brass in El Paso and investigators at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General learned of the shooting two weeks later from an agent in Arizona. His mother-in-law had received a call from her childhood friend, Aldrete’s mother, whose son was claiming he’d been shot by the Border Patrol.

    Both mothers wondered: Could it be true?

    ___

    Retired Border Patrol agent David Ham, a former assistant chief in El Paso, trekked out to the shooting scene not long ago. He wanted to see it for himself as the national outrage grew.

    “They’re picking the wrong guys to make heroes,” he said.

    After 31 years in the Border Patrol, Ham heads up the retired agents’ association in El Paso. Months back, a Border Patrol official gave the group an overview of the case against Ramos and Compean; Ham and some other retired colleagues have since refused to appear at vigils or news conferences in defense of the men.

    “If we believe in what we believe — which is honor first, that’s our motto — how can these two guys say they lived up to that?” he said.

    The public’s almost mythological image of the border, which reduces the reality of the region to a stereotype framed by “insecurities and anxiety,” partly explains support for the agents, said Howard Campbell, a cultural anthropologist at The University of Texas at El Paso.

    “It’s good vs. evil,” he said. “They think this is just one emblematic case of the border being out of control and taken over by drug smugglers … and the United States is being invaded. That’s the imagery. … That overrides the facts.”

    Ramos’ lawyer said the case, instead, represents a contradiction between “the reality on the riverbank and the bureaucracy of regulations.”

    “They’re out there in life-and-death situations, and then when something happens — just to hell with them? Let’s pull out all the stops and go after them? That doesn’t seem quite right,” said attorney Mary Stillinger.

    Stillinger hopes the case might prompt Congress to re-examine the statute for using a firearm during a violent crime, to establish an exception for law officers. A primary source of contention is the 10-year statutory sentence the agents received on that charge.

    Appeals are planned, and Ramos’ wife met recently with members of Congress who have asked for hearings. Calls for a presidential pardon have intensified following reports that Ramos was beaten in prison after inmates discovered he was a former agent.

    Rancor about the prosecution hasn’t abated.

    One Web site recently asked: “Was There a Government Conspiracy to Frame Ramos & Compean?” The posting argued that ballistics reports failed to support prosecutors’ claims that the bullet that hit Aldrete was fired from Ramos’ gun. (In truth, defense attorneys — and Ramos himself — signed a document agreeing that the bullet came from Ramos’ gun.)

    Two jurors also signed affidavits on behalf of the defense, saying they did not think Ramos and Compean were guilty of some counts on which they were convicted.

    Another juror, who asked to be identified only as Bob G., told the AP he stands by his decision at trial.

    “They were clearly guilty,” he said, adding that there was no evidence the drug smuggler was armed. “This thing, `They were just doing their job.’ Well, what kind of job were they doing?”

    It’s true, that until that day, the agents had been productive employees, husbands and fathers, officers whom other agents were supposed to learn from, said Luis Barker, retired chief of the El Paso Border Patrol sector and the agents’ former boss.

    “Here is a moment, an incident, and it took all that away,” Barker said.

    It’s also true that the smuggler, whose urethra was severed in the shooting, was given immunity for his actions on the day of the incident in exchange for his testimony. He has filed a $5 million claim with the Border Patrol.

    Barker understands how some might see that as a cruel twist of fate.

    “But the rule of law still applies,” he said. “If this guy’s running away and he’s shot in the butt, then he’s obviously not a threat. OK, `Well, I thought he had something in his hand.’ Then why didn’t you tell that supervisor?”

    (Barker noted that Compean, in an administrative proceeding with Barker following his arrest, also never mentioned that Aldrete appeared to have a weapon or something shiny in his hand.)

    “The long and short of it is, the system worked — as it should have,” Barker said.

    Jurors heard something similar just before they began deliberations.

    “… We’re not going to throw away the United States Constitution,” lead prosecutor Kanof said in her closing argument. “We’re not going to wad it up and put it in the trash can because Osvaldo was transporting marijuana that day. Because if we do that, then we have no expectation of living in a free society.”

  61. JohnCjacksn

    If my buddy and I shoot a cop or border agent or some other state agent, he lives and we try t cover it up, and then after already lying about the whole thing decide that we were defending ourselves by shooting the guy in the back, do we get less than 10 years?

  62. paulie cannoli

    I don’t think so. I don’t see you getting out in two years.

    I guess if my job was to bring weed across the border and I shot a cop in the ass rather than have him seize my weed, I could just say I was doing my job.

    Somehow I don’t think that would fly.

    Yet I think my job would in that case be more morally justifiable than Ramos and Compean’s jobs were.

  63. Prospective Advertiser

    JohnCjacksn, “If my buddy and I shoot a cop or border agent or some other state agent, he lives…”.

    The best advice is “two in the chest, one in the head.” You really want to be sure.

    I think, realistically, if you were to do the things you suggest, you’d never see trial. There would be some sort of “accident” in your holding cell.

    “The subject fell down three flights of stairs and broke his neck.”

    “The prison is on one level and has no stairs.”

    “Nevertheless, the subject fell down three flights of stairs and broke his neck.”

  64. paulie cannoli

    Tom Knapp explains it well

    http://knappster.blogspot.com/2009/01/final-betrayals-watch-bush-frees-ramos.html

    As one of his final acts in office, President George W. Bush has commuted the sentences of two evil, violent government thugs for beating a suspected drug trafficker when he tried to surrender, shooting at him (and missing) when he ran, shooting at him again (this time finally hitting him in the ass) when he stopped and tried to surrender again, then leaving him lying in the dirt and running off to file false reports to cover up their crimes.

    These goons got the bare minimum sentence that the law allowed the judge to hand down after a jury, on the basis of evidence so irrefutable than even a usually reliably “protect cops at all costs” prosecutor couldn’t find a believable way to avoid charging them, convicted them of their crimes.

    Ever since, they’ve served as martyrs cum mascots for the anti-America, anti-freedom Know-Nothing lobby — but the case against them was so airtight that even George “I’m above the law, I’ll wiretap without warrants and memory hole anyone I don’t like as an ‘enemy combatant'” Bush cringed from further debauching justice by springing them … at least until he was on the way out the door himself.

    How many people who’ve harmed no one remain in America’s prisons while these two government gangbangers get handed a get-out-of-jail-free card?

    How many future victims of abusive, out-of-control “law enforcement personnel” will die instead of just taking a bullet in the butt … and how many more future victims will there be now that Bush has effectively notified “law enforcement” that if you have a government badge and gun, it’s open season on the serfs?

    See also the comments.

    http://www.haloscan.com/comments/thomaslknapp/3427669310967095474/

  65. Michael Seebeck

    Paulie,

    That argument fails on a simple point: defending the border is a national defense issue, as well as part of the immigration and naturalization rules issue, both constitutionally defined.

    I’m a libertarian, not a constitutionalist. The constitution may be of some use in limiting government, although I think it has largely failed to do so effectively, but I don’t accept is a reason to justify any group of people (calling themselves a “government”) having rights that individuals don’t normally have.

    Who said anything about government rights, Paulie? I’m referring to consented delegated powers of the government, not rights! Learn the difference if you’re going to call yourself a libertarian, because that is FUNDAMENTAL to everything we believe in! The failure in the Constitution is not what it is, but in that it has not been adhered to. I have yet to see any libertarian say otherwise.

    Yes, people should be able to defend their own property–undoubtedly so–but when the owners are disarmed by state laws like here in CA

    …Then we should be working to get rid of the laws disarming them. One regime violation of rights does not justify another.

    That’s besides the point, even while true. The fact is the laws are there and are undeniably limiting and that influences the situation.

    mules and coyotes are known to be carrying AK47s or even more firepower

    What are mules and coyotes? Get rid of the illegitimate restrictions against certain chemicals and plants, and against workers going to where the jobs are, and the only mules and coyotes left would be the four legged kind.

    Again, besides the point. The laws are there. And coyotes also engage in human trafficking and slavery as well. Do you endorse THAT? And even if it were legal, they’d STILL trespass on private property without abandon. They care not for the rights of others, and protecting and preserving those is the first duty of all government.

    These agents were facing life in prison for doing their jobs and shooting a mule in the butt,

    See, there’s where I think you are wrong. Even if the drug and immigration laws were legitimate, and I don’t think for a minute that they are, and even if the government had a right to collect the taxes that paid for their jobs, their jobs were never to shoot people in the butt. That’s a criminal action no matter who does it.

    Nope. Immigration laws ARE legitimate, and always have been. It’s part of the constitutional compact, whether you like it or not. Go walk a mile in a cop’s shoes in South Central with MS-16 hanging around before you make such preposterous statements. We can bitch and moan all we want about how Prohibition causes the problem, but until the ideal solution is implemented in legalization, the robberies, rapes, murders, and such will occur, and those initations of force are NOT to be excused because of their ultimate cause in the War on Drugs! See more below on training.

    BTW, the jury was not allowed to hear of the mule’s past, either, including his criminal record,

    I don’t know what sort of criminal record could possibly justify allowing border patrol thugs to serve as judge, jury and would-be executioner and shoot a man in the ass.

    “Executioner” by shooting a guy in the butt? That’s just silly. The shot was to disable, not kill, else once he was down they would have finished him off. Learn the rules of judicial procedure. In a court of law a convicted felon’s testimony is not considered credible. THIS convicted felon got government-paid medical care, transportation, immunity from prosecution, and a free pass to come and go as he pleased, which he used to smuggle in more drugs and people. Do you endorse medical welfare for non-citizens and privileges for them that we citizens don’t get? Not me.

    It’s amazing how many people here have no idea what law enforcement really deals with. I come from a family of cops, so I see the bad side all time, not this idealized garbage. Cops are trained to protect themselves, and the training includes that any movement that can be interpreted as going for a firearm as permissible to respond with force, deadly if necessary. Yes, there are (far too many) cases of cops going over the line, and those need to be dealt with when they happen. But there are far many more cases where they don’t, they use their heads, and disaster is averted. That just doesn’t make the news because it doesn’t sell papers. You can complain all you want about that, and that’s a different issue, but that is how it is done in reality. Whine about the system, but the only way to change it and beat it is from within.

    BTW, Murder 1 pleaded down to Manslaughter gets less time in prison than these guys got for a non-lethal shooting. Is there justice in that?

    One last thing: Google Johnny Sutton and his political ambitions and ties to the White House. he wanted to use this case to make a name for himself and move up the ranks at Justice. The IG office lied about the case to give him cover. It got exposed, and here we are.

  66. Carl Bankston

    The only thing wrong with the shooting by Ramos and Compean was a lack of marksmanship. Bush and the Justice Department should never have allowed prosecution of these two agents. Bush managed to screw up a good thing as the last thing he did while president…he commuted their sentences but didn’t pardon them. They deserve a pardon but will now forever be convicted felons. This is another sad day in the annals of the border.

  67. paulie cannoli

    Who said anything about government rights, Paulie? I’m referring to consented delegated powers of the government, not rights!

    I’ve consented to delegate powers to government? Please show me the document I signed.


    Learn the difference if you’re going to call yourself a libertarian, because that is FUNDAMENTAL to everything we believe in!

    You are aware that there is such a thing as an anarchist libertarian, right? Many of your libertarian friends are anarchists.


    The failure in the Constitution is not what it is, but in that it has not been adhered to. I have yet to see any libertarian say otherwise.

    Then you haven’t read enough libertarians. You can start with Lysander Spooner.

    The fact is the laws are there and are undeniably limiting and that influences the situation.

    So? I don’t find that to be a compelling excuse to justify other government transgressions against human liberty and human rights.

    But since you insist on discussing the constitution, which provision of it allows the federal government to limit immigration? I am aware only that it can regulate naturalization, which is entirely different. I also know of no constitutional provision that authorizes the war on drugs.

    And coyotes also engage in human trafficking and slavery as well. Do you endorse THAT?

    Of course not. That’s one of the reasons that I am for getting rid of the immigration restrictions, without which these “coyotes” would be out of business.


    And even if it were legal, they’d STILL trespass on private property without abandon.

    Illogical. Why would there be people whose job it would be to smuggle other people across borders if there were no law enforcement stopping people from crossing borders legally? That’s like saying that the Budweiser delivery people will have a shootout with the Coors delivery people over beer turf.

    Next, I said: Even if the drug and immigration laws were legitimate, and I don’t think for a minute that they are, and even if the government had a right to collect the taxes that paid for their jobs, their jobs were never to shoot people in the butt. That’s a criminal action no matter who does it.

    Your response begins with,

    Nope. Immigration laws ARE legitimate, and always have been.

    This is not a response to what I wrote, since the section you are responding to assumes that they are legitimate for the sake of argument – keeping in mind that I do not think they are legitimate.

    You continue:


    It’s part of the constitutional compact, whether you like it or not.

    It isn’t, and I don’t. And if it were, that would still not make it legitimate, since I don’t think the constitutional compact is legitimate.

    But in no way does any of this respond to what you are purportedly responding to.


    Go walk a mile in a cop’s shoes in South Central with MS-16 hanging around before you make such preposterous statements.

    I think you mean MS 13, and what the heck does that have to do with anything I said? Yes, organized crime exists, in large part due to drug prohibition and other illegitimate US regime laws. That is one of the reasons I fight for the repeal of those laws. And, yes, some of the reasons why the Mara Salvatrucha gang is particularly vicious has to do with the US regime’s history of imperialism in Central America.

    How that justifies out of control US Border control thugs pistol whipping a Mexican marijuana smuggler in Texas, then shooting him in the ass as he ran away from the beating, and attempting to cover up their crime, is something you’ll just have to connect the dots for me for.

    We can bitch and moan all we want about how Prohibition causes the problem, but until the ideal solution is implemented in legalization, the robberies, rapes, murders, and such will occur, and those initations of force are NOT to be excused because of their ultimate cause in the War on Drugs!

    So who is excusing them? Not me. Those guilty of robberies, rapes, murders, and such should be punished for their crimes. This includes border patrol thugs who engage in attempted murder.

    I said, I don’t know what sort of criminal record could possibly justify allowing border patrol thugs to serve as judge, jury and would-be executioner and shoot a man in the ass.

    Your response: “Executioner” by shooting a guy in the butt?

    Did you miss the part that said would-be executioner? I realize the victim lived.

    The shot was to disable, not kill, else once he was down they would have finished him off.

    OK, fair point. They still shot a man in the ass who was running away from them, after they were beating him after he had surrendered. They still caused him grievous bodily injury, and then attempted to cover up their crime. And he was not guilty of anything that should actually be illegal, at least at that point in time.

    In a court of law a convicted felon’s testimony is not considered credible.

    Bull. Convicted felons testify in cases all the time. And to say that convicted felons can’t testify in cases where they are victims is absolutely incredible. Are you seriously advocating open season by cops on anyone with a record if they happen to catch us without somebody that does not have a record around?

    a free pass to come and go as he pleased, which he used to smuggle in more drugs and people

    I suppose you have evidence of subsequent convictions to back this up? Not that it would negate the obligation to pay for the medical care of a victim of thugs acting in their capacity as US government employees, or to allow a victim to testify. But, I can see your point. I wouldn’t necessarily object if Ramos and Compean had been extradited to Mexico to face charges there instead.

    Yes, there are (far too many) cases of cops going over the line, and those need to be dealt with when they happen.

    This was a particularly egregious example.

  68. paulie cannoli

    The only thing wrong with the shooting by Ramos and Compean was a lack of marksmanship.

    Oh really Carl, and what crime was their victim guilty of that demanded immediate execution on the spot – smuggling marijuana, being Mexican, or both?

  69. paulie cannoli

    It looks like I spoke too soon…

    Mike) The shot was to disable, not kill, else once he was down they would have finished him off.

    Paul) OK, fair point. They still shot a man in the ass who was running away from them, after they were beating him after he had surrendered. They still caused him grievous bodily injury, and then attempted to cover up their crime. And he was not guilty of anything that should actually be illegal, at least at that point in time.

    p2) Actually,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramos_and_compean


    After the shooting the officers disposed of their shell casings, made no further attempt to apprehend the suspect, lied to their supervisors, and filed a false investigative report.

    p2] So he was never down for them to finish off.

    Yep, sounds like attempted murder to me.

  70. paulie cannoli

    BTW, Murder 1 pleaded down to Manslaughter gets less time in prison than these guys got for a non-lethal shooting. Is there justice in that?

    Manslaughter is unintentional killing. I believe Ramos and Compean committed attempted murder. They fired something like 19 shots, most of which missed, at a man who was running. That does not sound like precision shooting me.

    The charges they were actually convicted of carried ten years minimum. Sounds like they got off light, if anything.

    There are numerous people doing way more time than that for “drug conspiracies.”

    You want to muster up some righteous indignation? Dig in….

    http://fear.org/victimindex.html

    There are a thousand or more Cuban immigrants who are, as far as I know, still languishing in US jails indefinitely,

    http://www.nthposition.com/scarfaceandthe.php

    As well as an unknown number of supposed “enemy combatants” – many guilty of nothing except having enemies who sold them for money, revenge, etc., back in the middle east –
    in Guantanamo Bay, subject to inhumane conditions and indefinite detention without charges.

    And you want to decry the all-too-short imprisonment of Ramos and Compean?

    If anything, law enforcement officers who commit crimes while on the job should face extra time for doing their crimes.

  71. Prospective Advertiser

    It is an interesting principle of Somali traditional justice that the compensation due from someone in the community at large for, say, negligently killing someone else would be, say, 50 camels. The fee if a judge in the community does the same thing is twice.

    I asked one of my Somali friends about this distinction, and he said that the explanation was quite simple. The judge pays twice because he has committed two crimes, one against the victim, and once against the trust of the community.

  72. Gene Trosper

    Bush commuting the sentences of Ramos and Compean was a gross injustice. They shot an un armed man engaging in a free market (albeit black market) activity. Ramos and Compean were not threatened in the last and they used a vastly disproportionate amount of force against the “smuggler”.

    Now I think I’m going to play “Important Exportin’ Man” by the New Riders of The Purple Sage in tribute to the hard working black market entrepreneurs out there.

  73. paulie cannoli

    Does he? I took a minute to try to figure it out with a google search, but all I found were blog comments – some claiming he does, some claiming he doesn’t – and nothing from Ron Paul himself. I could keep looking but I didn’t feel like it.

  74. Trent Hill Post author

    Paul was not a co-sponsor of the Congression Act that tried to pardon them.

  75. Blue

    We do not know what really happened that day…and we never will….Bush had to do one good thing before he left office.

  76. paulie cannoli

    We do not know what really happened that day…and we never will….

    That’s why there was an investigation, trial, conviction and sentencing.


    Bush had to do one good thing before he left office.

    I can’t think of anything good he did off the top of my head.

  77. Libertarian Joseph

    The thought of a pardon for them appeases my anti-illegal immigrant past. No, I was a socalist, not a paleo, but I was a different kind of socialist. :p

    Well, they were just doing their job.

  78. Prospective Advertiser

    A jury determined that what they did was a crime. The defense “it was their job” and “they were only following orders” did not work for the concentration camp guards who were tried and executed for war crimes at Nuremberg, and it doesn’t work here, now.

    Except, of course, Bush loves war criminals.

  79. paulie cannoli

    What they did was not a crime…it was their job.

    Not true. Read my previous comments in this thread. For starters, their job was completely illegitimate to start with. Even if it was not,

    Their job was not to pistol whip a suspect (of marijuana smuggling, why the hell is marijuana illegal?), then shoot him in the ass as he ran away from the beating, and try to dispose of the evidence (shell casings).

    They were investigated, tried, convicted and sentenced, even despite massive bias in the system that makes it hard to ever convict cops of police brutality related crimes like this one.

    If pistol whipping people and shooting them in the ass as they run from the beating, and then trying to dispose of the evidence, is someone doing their job, we are in real trouble.

    The guy ran ( who runs ?).

    Who wouldn’t run after being pistol-whipped upon surrendering, then being shot at while running, then being shot at some more when trying to run away again?

    Except, of course, Bush loves war criminals.

    Makes sense, since he is one.

  80. libertariangirl

    What they did was not a crime…it was their job.

    if shooting unarmed innocent people was my job , id find a new job .
    incidentally it is cornerstone of libertarian thought that we accept individual responsibility . I ‘was just following orders’ or ‘just doing my job’ are no excuse for perpetrating crimes and evil .

  81. paulie cannoli

    if shooting unarmed innocent people was my job , id find a new job . incidentally it is cornerstone of libertarian thought that we accept individual responsibility . I ‘was just following orders’ or ‘just doing my job’ are no excuse for perpetrating crimes and evil .

    True, but it’s also true that these thugs were not just doing their jobs – nobody ordered them to commit their criminal actions (pistol whipping a man after he surrendered, shooting him in the ass when he ran away, shooting him some more when he tried to surrender again).

  82. walt

    Read about Bill Lussenheide candidate for congress ca 45 failure to file any papers with the fec for campaign donation records. Whats with this guy and his secret campaign. Something does not add up. He must have a whole lot to hide because he doesn’t want the Government to know about his campaign money. Chelene nightingale for governor 2010 on the other hand….has her hand out for any chump change that might be thrown her way. Again, no way to trace it…as she states on her campign page (not tax deductible) what a strange fringe group of people these folks are. Doesn’t pass the smell test if you ask me.

  83. Don Grundmann

    ” walt ” – The ” smell test ” proves that you are the moral rat Mark Seidenberg writing under yet another fake name. Always the coward. Always the walking turd. Chelene and Bill have more honor, integrity, intelligence, and courage than an anti-human like you can ever dream of.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Vice-Chairman American Independent Party, California branch of the Constitution Party

  84. False patriots

    Chelene Nightingale for governor 2010 and Bill Lussenheide for congress ca-45 should heed this message:

    PATRIOTISM IS THE LAST REFUGE FOR SCOUNDRELS!!!

    Time to come clean with your false backgrounds!!!!

  85. MORE .......... Lake

    Steven R Linnabary // Jan 22, 2009:
    “then failed to do their job by not reporting the incident and destroying the evidence ……..”

    The smell test on Chelene Nightingale, odorous for OVER A YEAR!

  86. Don Grundmann

    to ” The Fool ” – There really is no other way to put it – You are an outright ass. Spreading your total lies about Chelene wherever you can while you pretend to be a veterans supporter but do NOTHING for them while attacking those who ARE working to defend them!! Incredible!! You are truly a walking turd and total rat.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Vice-Chairman American Independent Party, California branch of the Constitution Party

  87. Nut grundmann

    Go put on your little red devil outfit you FREAK WHO DOES NOT PAY INCOME TAX!!!! sTFU

  88. Don Grundmann

    Mark Seidenberg – Just stop writing under other names. You are such an outrageous coward. Be a man – for once.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Vice-Chairman American Independent Party, California branch of the Constitution Party

  89. nUTGRUNTMANN

    I am not seidnberger but I will be posting that freaky youtube video of you….walking around in a devil suit….YOU ANTI AMERICAN NON TAX PAYING FREAK…Thats right folks this a**hole does not pay taxes there are docs online….yeah I will be printing all these little items up for all to see what a freakish goon you are…lol You will do anything for attention you seriously need mental help….everyone type in Don J Grundmann on google…and read up on all this freaks antics….:)

  90. Don Grundmann

    nUTGRUNTMAN/a.k.a. Mark Seidenberg – Mark – I make the same offer to you that I make to all of the audiences that I speak to. I say that – there is no law requiring an American working in America to either file a tax return or to pay income tax. If you can disprove what I say you can get $300,000. Go to livefreenow.org for the $300,000 challenge. So you can continue your stupid and never ending pathetic lying under yet another fake name or you can get $300,ooo for proving me wrong. Prediction – you are too lazy to work for the $300,000, too cowardly to write under your own name, and too psychotic to write anything other than the above idiocy and so many others that you fart out. Therefore you will continue writing your cowardly stupid comments under other names because that is who you are.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Vice-Chairman American Independent Party, California branch of the Constitution Party

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