Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“They (the emperors) frequently abused their power arbitrarily to deprive their subjects of property or of life: their tyranny was extremely onerous to the few, but it did not reach the greater number; .. But it would seem that if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild, it would degrade men without tormenting them.”     Alexis de Tocqueville

January 19, 2009

Bush Caves, Commutes Sentences for Ramos and Compean

by Stephen Littau

Well, maybe I should say he partially caved. With less than 24 hours left in his presidency, Bush decided to commute Ramos and Compean’s sentences rather than granting full pardons.

The Associated Press reports that the president chose to commute their sentences because he agreed with the court’s finding that the men broke the law but also believed the mandatory minimum sentences were too harsh. They had “suffered enough” from temporarily losing their freedom, their jobs and their reputations. Ramos and Compean’s prison terms will expire on March 20th but will be required to pay their fines and their three-year supervised release term will also remain in effect.

For the reasons I have previously stated, I am very disappointed that President Bush commuted the sentences of these two men. Ramos and Compean deserve to be in prison for at least a decade. It seems to me that President Bush gave in to the pressure to satisfy the last 20% of Americans who otherwise actually approve of how he has governed over the last 8 years.

Having said that, I am pleased that Ramos and Compean’s crimes will remain on their records and am hopeful that neither will ever have the ability to work in law enforcement on any level in the future. Of course there is always the possibility that they will have their own talk shows on talk radio or Fox News Channel.

Let’s just hope that others in law enforcement don’t get the idea that they can shoot first but be forgiven later if the suspect happens to be a criminal.

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  1. You are crazy~! These guys should of been pardoned.

    Comment by Jim — January 20, 2009 @ 12:11 am
  2. You know what Jim, you’re right. Not only should they be pardoned but they should also be given a medal. Why not even name an award of valor after Ramos and Compean? Perhaps the BART police officer who “courageously” shot that man in the back should be the first to receive the “Ramos and Compean Medal of Valor.”

    Comment by Stephen Littau — January 20, 2009 @ 6:58 am
  3. Yet another example of the idiotic media “journalists” who publish opinion as fact. You disgust me. Here’s hoping you also have a “close encounter” with the drug smuggling illegal MY U.S. border patrol agents shot.

    Comment by Daphne — January 20, 2009 @ 7:06 am
  4. Jim & Daphne,

    The evidence is rather overwhelming

    These men were murderers, not brave lawmen.

    They shot an unarmed suspect while he was trying to surrender.

    That’s not honorable, it’s criminal.

    If anyone other than a cop had done it, they wouldn’t have even been on the President’s pardon list.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — January 20, 2009 @ 7:33 am
  5. Doug, the man did survive. I do think its fair to call them attempted murderers though.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — January 20, 2009 @ 7:16 pm
  6. Daphne,

    Well I hope you have a “close encounter” with a police officer serving a no-knock raid on your home. When a police officer shoots one of your family members, I’ll be sure to demand the president pardons him because “its such a dangerous job” right?

    Comment by Stephen Littau — January 20, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

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