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One Year Since Senate Hearing on Border Agents Case

Jul 17, 2008

Washington, Jul 17, 2008 - Today marks the one year anniversary of the Senate Judiciary hearing held by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to investigate the unjust prosecution of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. The agents were convicted and sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively for shooting and wounding an illegal alien drug smuggler. After the conclusion of the hearing, Senators Feinstein and Cornyn called upon President Bush to immediately commute the agents’ sentences.

“For over a year and half, Ramos and Compean have languished in solitary confinement in federal prison and President Bush has done nothing to reconcile this terrible injustice,” said Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). “Despite the desperate pleas from Members of both parties and the righteous outrage of millions of Americans, President Bush refuses to exercise his authority to free these two brave heroes who put their lives on the line to protect our border and our families.

“President Bush will never be able to undo the nightmare endured by the agents and their families.”

Since the Senate hearing, many developments in the case have unfolded including the revelation of two subsequent drug loads carry out by the government’s star witness, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, while under immunity to testify against the agents. Jurors were not permitted to hear about the infamous “October load” as the trial judge granted U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s request to have that information sealed from the jury. Davila has since been arrested and pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs in October and September of 2005 and is awaiting sentencing.

The Ramos and Compean case was heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 3rd and a decision is still pending.