Monday, July 28, 2008

Fifth Circuit upholds Ramos, Compean convictions

The Fifth Circuit affirmed the bulk of the convictions of two Border Patrol officers, Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving sentences of 11 and 12 years in prison respectively for shooting a fleeing drug smuggler and covering it up. None other than Sweet Lou Dobbs championed theDobbs  cause of Ramos and Compean.  "The jury was the fact-finder. The jury heard all of the evidence. The jury returned the verdict. The jury did not believe the Border Patrol agents. It convicted them. The government’s evidence, if believed, is sufficient to uphold the convictions. And that is pretty close to the bottom line on guilt or innocence of these agents. ... [W]e leave the major conviction with the major sentence - 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) - untouched. ... Aldrete-Davila’s own testimony, the behavior of the defendants after the shooting, and the inconsistent testimony offered by both defendants and other Border Patrol agents allowed the jury to conclude that the defendants faced no credible threat and, consequently, there was no justification for their firing upon Aldrete-Davila. Although disputed, the evidence, taken in the light most favorable to the jury verdict, supports the scenario that Aldrete-Davila fled toward the Mexican border after Compean took a swing at him with his shotgun and that, while he was in flight, the defendants without provocation fired their weapons at him several times. ... The trial of the case was conducted fairly and without reversible error." U.S. v. Ramos & Compean (5th Cir. July 28, 2008).  Download ramos20520728081.txt

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Why is everyone so outraged over this decision, the Government prosecutes everyone the same way, prosecution by ambush, no it's a fair trial by any means, but I don't remember any one whining when John Gottis lawyer was pulled, by naming him as an unindited coconspirator, or when a person in California was sentenced to life in prison for stealing a golf club under 3 strikes law.
Please remember that Ramos & Compean tried to cover up their mistakes and didn't report the shoot out.
Why should they be treated any different than all the rest of us, every is Ok when the Government overreaches the law (like in the California case mentioned above) they did the same with Ramos & Compean by charging them with using a firearm while committing a felony, thats the law and it applies to everyone, cut & dry.
Jonny Sutton only did what he was trained to do.

Even the ruler must follow the rules.

Posted by: Rob Florida | Jul 29, 2008 5:30:53 PM

I think the decision is a bad one. I wrote about it on my blog, Politics is Not a Sport. Here's a link:

Posted by: Shelly Borrell | Jul 29, 2008 7:57:12 PM

How can anyone conclude a trial is fair when evidence is concealed which would cast doubt on witness credibility? Or when the prosecution presents perjured testimony? And the judge seems to favor the prosecution? I have heard liberal senators rant about the "mere appearance of impropriety" There is so much about this case that stinks to high Heaven. I am curious; if a person licensed to carry a firearm was arrested for speeding in West Texas, would Johnny Sutton prosecute that federal crime?
This whole circus is incredible. The Mexican government contemptuously demands persecution of U.S. law enforcement officers and U.S. Attorney Sutton springs into action. There was once the ethical consideration which held that, as a public official, a prosecutor had a duty to seek justice first of all. Is treating a professional criminal like a great hero seeking justice? Don't forget, he was provided a motor vehicle, V.I.P. border crossing passes, money and free medical care. Yep, the U.S. Army treated him for a bullet wound he may well have gotten in Mexico. Next time you need medical care, try Walter Reed Hospital and see what happens.. Let us also remember our poor little innocent drug smuggler will sue for $5 million. I suppose Mr. Sutton will agree to settle for that amount. Of course you and I will pay it.
Actually if the members of the jury are representative of the citizens of West Texas, we should withdraw all law enforcement from there.
Finally, I can't help but question the competence of Ramos and Compean's attorneys. Why would they just accaept unfair rulings from an inexperienced judge? Why was the doctor who treated the gunshot wound not called to testify? The questions are many and I won't try to cover them all. The whole thing stinks after only a cursory review.

Posted by: john knight | Aug 23, 2008 3:54:21 PM

It about time somebody put a couple of these fascists in jail. Was the guy they were shooting at a criminal? By our current laws, hell yea - no doubt. If you really want all this to stop, then stop your fellow Americans from using drugs. There lies the real problem. If there was no demand for that sh*t, there would be no supply. Since we all know this is impossible, we attack somebody else. Let's attack somebody who's life isn't worth as much as ours - those dirty Mexican drug smugglers. Let's not try to fix our own problems - oh no, that's too hard. It's easier to build a fence, hire more border patrols, put up cameras, helicopters, UAV's and every now and then, shoot a couple of them worthless bastards. That'll teach them to bring that stuff over here!
This is the real reason y'all are pissed and want these guys freed. You can not look at yourself and accept that your family (your fellow American drug users) is the problem. There are two solutions to end this: 1) Be like Jesus and forgive each sinner 2) Be like Hitler, round up all brown people in camps and kill anyone that comes across that border. Anything in between will continue to not work.

Posted by: Ted Brown | Nov 6, 2008 5:16:34 PM

The claim that Ramos and Compean tried to cover up evidence is a flat out bold faced lie. The fact that the spent shell casings were gathered are of no significance. Spent shell casings are always gathered after firearm discharge! The claim that they were trying to cover up the discharge of their firearm was twisted out of the fact that they did not immediately file a required report to their supervisors. They did not do so, nor did they need to do so, because there supervisors were there on the scene with full knowledge of the gun discharge and that they were proceeding to gather the spent shell casings.

Johnny Sutton is a crooked sleaze bag attorney. He slapped them with more charges, some that do not even apply in this case, just because they would not bow to the almighty US Attorney scum and agree that they had committed a crime. An example is the charge of using a firearm while committing a crime, which would have and did extend the time required at sentencing. This law was enacted to discourage criminals, specifically drug runners, from committing their crimes with a firearm. It was never intended to be applied to law enforcement officials. This is the first time it ever has been applied to law enforcement officials in the capacity of performing their duties and required function. The fact that he chose this law, the fact that his key witness in convicting these two men was himself a known drug runner was in my opinion just one more slap in the face to these to good and wrongly convicted men who have now already spent 2 years in solitary confinement.

Johnny Sutton is a scumbag attorney to be shunned, and regarded with disdain and scorn. I hope he reaps the rewards of his foul and evil acts. What goes around comes around.

Posted by: KR | Jan 14, 2009 8:58:49 AM

Canada is a multicultural country made up of mostly immigrants of many many cultures. It seems highly unlikely that all of the immigrants from countries lower on the list are rapists exported to Canada. Keep in mind of who you are talking about when you speak of a Canadian.

I agree with another commentor about the fact that in "safer" countries women are more prone to altert the authorities while in other countries the authorities may not even exist.

An what about if a particular women is raped more than once. How oes this list compare? It is a very unclear list. Under gods eyes i am sure that the order would be much much different.

Posted by: Lucio | Sep 29, 2009 7:23:48 AM

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