Two U.S. Border Patrol agents whose sentences were commuted by former President Bush after spending two years in prison for shooting a Mexican drug dealer were released from prison today.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean will have to spend another month on house arrest, but being home with their families should be quite a consolation for that inconvenience.
President Bush was given a lot of flak by supporters of Ramos and Compean for only commuting their sentences and not giving them an outright pardon. There was a method to Bush's madness: the two men did not ask for a pardon. In an interview with radio talk host Mike Gallagher that took place just a day or two after the commutation was announced, I listened to the wife of one of the agents (I can't remember which) tell Gallagher and his audience that to receive a pardon, you have to sign document admitting guilt to your crime. Since Ramos and Compean both maintain they did nothing wrong, they refused to ask for a pardon if that meant admitting guilt. With a commutation, the two men are free to continue pursuing their case in an effort to be fully exonerated.
The man who Ramos and Compean shot (in the ass, by the way) was in the process of transporting 750 pounds of marijuana across our border. During the agents' trial, the drug dealer was given immunity by the U.S. attorney so he could testify against the agents. While the trial was going on and while the scumbag had immunity, he was caught yet again transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana across our border. Boy, there's a reliable witness!
Thank God for President Bush seeing the light on his last day in office and signing the commutations for Ramos and Compean. Were his feet not held to the fire by many politicians, talk radio hosts, family members, and citizens, I am confident that Bush would have allowed those two men to rot in prison.
Good Day to You, Sir