Even in the final hours of the Bush Administration, hope springs eternal.
On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the controversial sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.
Their sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
Ramos and Compean were sentenced in connection with the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was shot in the buttocks while trying to flee along the Texas border. He admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot and pleaded guilty last year to drug charges related to two other smuggling attempts.
Nearly the entire congressional delegation from Texas and other lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle pleaded with Bush to grant them clemency. Conservatives hailed Bush’s decision Monday.
Although I’m deeply disappointed that Ramos and Compean did not receive a full pardon as they were simply doing their jobs with the Border Patrol, a commutation is better than nothing.
Thank you, President Bush, for listening to reason and bringing these innocent men closer to freedom.
Let’s not forget Ignacio Ramos, Jose Compean, and their familes when they are released from prison on March 20. Now more than ever, they will need our prayers and our support as they continue working to restore their good names.