On his last full day as president, George W. Bush commuted the prison sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, two former Border Patrol agents who were sent to prison for crimes they committed related to the shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler.
Who are Ramos and Compean?
If you listen to the activists, union officials, bloggers, and politicians who have championed them, they are heroic law enforcement officers wrongly convicted for defending America from an onslaught of criminal activity flowing northward from Mexican drug cartels.
Jurors, however, apparently heard another story.
On February 17, 2005, Mexican drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was spotted trying to cross the border with 743 pounds of marijuana in a van. Overtaken by agents, Davila attempted to surrender.
But instead of arresting Davila, Compean tried to butt-stroke him with a shotgun. When Compean missed and lost his balance, Davila took off. Compean then fired 14 shots at the fleeing Davila, missing with each shot. Ramos, claiming he saw something shiny in Davila’s hand, fired and dropped Davila with a bullet in his buttocks.
Again, Compean and Ramos failed to arrest Davila. Instead, they left the wounded drug smuggler to bleed on the ground.
Compean policed up his brass — an incredibly incriminating act — and both officers filed false reports. Neither disclosed that they had discharged their weapons. Quite literally, they tried to get away with attempted murder.
And they probably would have, had Davila not taken the extraordinary step of filing charges against the agents who tried to kill him.