Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to urge you to take swift action and commute the sentences of United States Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
On October 19, these two agents were convicted and sentenced to 11 and 12 years in federal prison respectively for wounding a Mexican drug smuggler who brought 743 pounds of marijuana across the U.S. border. The two agents were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office and the smuggler was granted immunity to testify against the agents. Both agents were denied bail while awaiting their appeals. They surrendered to federal authorities on January 17 and on February 3 Ignacio Ramos was attacked in the
Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Mississippi.
We have already requested your consideration of a pardon for these two agents based on our concerns for the agents' safety in prison and the lack of fairness in the proceedings against the two men. Now, we request a commutation of their sentences for the same reasons that led you to commute the prison sentence of Scooter Libby.
In the press release that accompanied the announcement of your commutation you stated: "I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby's appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision." Just like Scooter Libby, Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean were denied bail and required to report to federal prison while awaiting a
decision during their appeal.
You went on to state, "Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury." Ramos and Compean were outstanding Border Patrol agents (Ramos had been previously nominated for Border Patrol Agent of the Year) and were handed extremely harsh sentences while key pieces of evidence, including evidence of a second load of drugs that was brought into the country by the drug smuggler after
the shooting, were not presented to the jury.
You also state in your release on Scooter Libby that, "the Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is our judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby's case is an appropriate exercise of this power." Mr. President, you have the opportunity to correct a great injustice committed against two Border Patrol agents we believe acted in the course oftheir duties to enforce the law against a dangerous drug smuggler. The extremely harsh prison sentences they received are unjustified in this case, and their prosecution and prison sentences have been demoralizing to other Border Patrol agents, which has undoubtedly harmed the security of our nation by causing Border Patrol agents to hesitate before using their weapons in defense of our borders against criminals and terrorists. We respectfully request your immediate intervention into this matter and urge you to commute the sentences of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
John Culberson (TX-07), Dana Rohrbacher (CA-46), Ted Poe (TX-02), Brian Bilbray (CA-50), Virgil Goode (VA-05), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Walter Jones (NC-03), Michael Conaway (TX-11), Kay Granger (TX-12), Joe Wilson (SC-02), Wally Herger (CA-02), Mary Fallin (OK-05), John Carter (TX-31), Pete Sessions (TX-32), Ed Royce (CA-40), Cliff Stearns (FL-06), Ralph Hall (TX-04), Michael Burgess (TX-26), and Mike Rogers (MI-08)