GOP members want border agents freed

Jan. 14, 2009 at 7:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republicans Wednesday asked the president to commute the sentences of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a drug-smuggling suspect.

"We are coming to the end of the Bush administration. The days are short," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said during a news conference asking for a review of the convictions of agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. "We would hope the president would pay attention."

The agents were convicted of wounding Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks in February 2005 as he allegedly ran from a truck containing 743 pounds of marijuana near Fabens, Texas. Prosecutors argued that the agents shot an unarmed and fleeing suspect and then failed to report they had fired their weapons.

Ramos is serving an 11-year sentence and Compean a 12-year sentence.

Rohrabacher said "people that they thought were doing wrong should take a second look" at the case's outcome.

He and the other congressional members also appealed to prosecutor Johnny Sutton to advise President George Bush to "at the very least commute" the sentences of Ramos and Compean.

"It's justice; it's humaneness; and it's something that we would expect from people who are trying to do their job fairly," the California Republican said. "And if the president's trying to do his job and Johnny Sutton's trying to do his job, they all recognize -- as he already has -- the sentence was too severe."

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