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03-20-09, 05:46 PM #1
Border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean Appear on Lou Dobbs Tonight; Say they are Optimistic About Future after Prison Release
Border agents optimistic about future after prison release - CNN.com
Former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean speak publicly for the first time since President Bush commuted their sentences. 7pm, ET
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean begin their supervised release
Ramos says he is looking forward to being with family, putting incident behind him "There are more important things than the people that have done to this," he says President Bush in January commuted their sentences for shooting Mexican.
(CNN) -- Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos began their "supervised release" Friday after President Bush commuted their sentences in January.
Ignacio Ramos has been out of prison since Febrary after serving time in the shooting of an illegal immigrant.
After spending two "long, hard, lonely" years in prison, Ramos said he is looking forward to spending time with his family and closing this chapter of his life.
"There are more important things than the people that have done this to us or what we have gone through and I am not going to sit here and dwell on that," Ramos said in an interview with CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
"We are looking ahead. We are optimistic for a very good future and that is what is more important," Ramos said.
Ramos and Compean left prison in February, bringing a close to a case that served as a flashpoint in the debate over immigration and border security.
The two were sentenced in 2006 to 11- and 12-year sentences stemming from the February 2005 shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila near the U.S.-Mexico border south of El Paso, Texas.
Critics of U.S. immigration policy rushed to the agents' defense, saying they were merely doing their jobs. Civil liberties advocates argued that Compean and Ramos used excessive force.
Compean credited the outside support with helping him win clemency and keeping his spirits up during his imprisonment.
"Members from Congress were speaking about us, people were writing us constantly, it felt so good to know that people didn't give up on us and that people believed in us," he said.
"How can you give up when people aren't giving up on you?"
Ramos shot Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks after he ditched a vehicle carrying more than 700 pounds of marijuana and fled on foot toward Mexico.
The agents said during trial that Aldrete-Davila had brandished a gun while resisting arrest, but Aldrete-Davila said he was unarmed and trying to surrender when Compean attempted to beat him with a shotgun.
"In exchange for immunity, Aldrete-Davila agreed to cooperate with the investigation of the shooting, and he returned to the United States so that the bullet could be removed from his body," according to court documents.
Ramos and Compean were convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon, lying about the incident and violating Aldrete-Davila's Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a vocal critic of the decision to grant Aldrete-Davila immunity, said several key pieces of evidence were withheld from the jury that convicted Ramos and Compean.
The jury, for instance, never learned that Aldrete-Davila was running drugs at the time of the shooting. Nor did jurors learn that Aldrete-Davila breached his immunity agreement by continuing to smuggle drugs into the United States, Cornyn has said.
"Several jurors have since come forward to state that if they had been told about the excluded evidence, they would have changed their verdict," Cornyn wrote in a January plea to Bush, requesting clemency for the agents.
Despite Ramos' and Compean's appeals for clemency, a senior Bush administration official said the men were "convicted felons who violated their oaths to uphold the law." Leading Democrats and Republicans, however, supported Bush's commutation, the official said.
"The president has reviewed the circumstances of this case as a whole and the conditions of confinement and believes the sentences they received are too harsh and that they and their families have suffered enough for their crimes," the official said
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03-20-09, 11:17 PM #2Chief Wheaties PisserVerified LEO
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I heard the term "political prisoners" used for these two. At first I dismissed the term. Then I reflected on it and have come to agree. Plenty of our folks are in harm's war on the Border War (and that is what it is folks) yet a liberal prosecutor took these two as poster children? And a supposedly law and order president didn't do the appropriate thing by pardoning them?
Yes indeed, political prisoners. The politics that is the border.
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