Action Alert
Take Action U.S. Border Patrol Agents are Still in Prison!
Call the White House and Tell President Bush to Pardon Ramos and Compean!
August 13, 2008
 
On February 17, 2005, U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were guarding the Mexican border near El Paso, TX when they intercepted a van carrying 743 pounds of marijuana. They attempted to prevent a Mexican drug-smuggler from crossing the border and illegally entering the United States. After the U.S. government intervened and granted immunity and a temporary visa to the illegal drug-smuggler in exchange for testimony against Ramos and Compean, the two border guards were convicted for allegedly shooting one bullet into the man's buttocks and for failing to report the discharge of their firearms. They were given 11-and 12-year sentences and remain in solitary confinement in a medium security prison.
On July 28, 2008, a 3-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the prison
sentences and 7 of the 12 charges that were brought against the two border guards, but overturned the charge that they obstructed justice by failing to report the incident. Although their alleged violation deserved only an administrative reprimand, the 5th Circuit Court upheld the mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentences for "discharging a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence." This law, known as Section 924(c) of the U.S. Code, has always been interpreted to apply to criminals, not law enforcement officers engaged in their official duties.
 
Not only has the 5th Circuit unjustly ruled to deny freedom to our brave border guards, but they
have now set a dangerous precedent which will no doubt intimidate law enforcement officers all over the United States. We simply cannot have a national policy of intimidating our border guards from intercepting drug-smugglers or even defending themselves against those who should be presumed to be armed and dangerous.
 
We call on President Bush to pardon these two border guards who most Americans and 75 Members of Congress believe are the targets of unfair prosecution under a law never intended to be used against border guards, an unfair trial in which the Bush-appointed judge withheld from the jury damaging information about the drug smuggler Davila who was the key witness against the defendants, unfairly long sentences (years longer than the same judge gave the professional drug smuggler whom Ramos and Compean intercepted), and unfair prison treatment in which they were beaten by illegal-alien prisoners.
 
 
 

Although the families of Ramos and Compean plan to appeal their cases to the U.S. Supreme
Court, there is no guarantee that the High Court will agree to hear it. There is the possibility that the Fifth Circuit may rehear the case in front of all 17 judges at a later date, but the fastest and most effective way to free the border guards would be with a presidential pardon.
 
Please begin to flood the White House phone lines with calls asking President George W. Bush to pardon Ramos and Compean before he leaves office! Also tell President Bush that if he will not grant the border guards a full pardon, you expect him to commute their prison sentences, just like he did for his buddy Scooter Libby, and if nothing else, he should at least mandate a transfer of these men from solitary confinement in a medium security prison filled with violent criminals to a minimum security prison.
 
White House Phone Numbers:
 
Office of the President (202) 456-1414
 
Office of Public Liaison (202) 456-2380
 
Get your calls in today! Ramos and Compean are counting on YOU!
 

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