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.