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Bipartisan Letter Sent To White House to Pardon Border Agents

Dec 19, 2007

Washington, Dec 19, 2007 - Today, Cong. Rohrabacher (R-CA) joined Cong. William Delahunt (D-MA), Cong. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) and Cong. Ted Poe (R-TX) on a letter sent to President Bush asking for a last minute commutation for unjustly imprisoned Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. Last week, Members expressed outrage over President Bush’s decision to leave Ramos and Compean off the annual Christmas pardons and commutations list.

“Time is running short for the President to do the right thing,” says Rohrabacher. “When this case is kicked out by the 5th Circuit, the President will rightfully be judged as having been stubborn, heartless and wrong, unless he acts now.”

“If the status quo remains, Scooter Libby will be home with his family for Christmas while Ramos and Compean suffer alone in solitary confinement,” states Rohrabacher.

The letter focuses on the harshness of the sentences imposed on Ramos and Compean, pointing out the questionable decision making on the part of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton for stacking charges against the agents, including a 10 year mandatory minimum for the unlawful discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence and depending on the testimony of a now indicted, habitual drug smuggler, to secure the convictions.

“Mr. President…it is clear that the sentences imposed on Agents Ramos and Compean are profoundly disproportionate based on the totality of the circumstances and sentencing guidelines,” states the letter. “Their sentences were, quite simply, a gross miscarriage of justice.”

This letter represents the first bipartisan direct appeal to President Bush to intervene on behalf of Ramos and Compean. H. Con. Res 267 was recently introduced by Cong. Delahunt and Cong. Rohrabacher asking for the immediate commutation of sentence for the border agents and now has 64 co-sponsors, including 37 Democrats.