At the U.S. House hearings on the Ramos and Compean case, T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council testified in detail what happened at the scene of the shooting and the subsequent prosecution. Reading his statement demonstrates how truly bizarre this case is. Think about it...two agents shoot the smuggler they say pointed a gun at them. The smuggler gets away by fleeing into Mexico. There is nothing to suggest the smuggler isn't armed. Funny thing, when the prosecutor tracks him down and informs him that he is sending to jail the very agents who shot him, the smuggler claims he had no gun when he was shot. In other words, it's the known smuggler's word against two agents, and the smuggler has a chance to punish those who would otherwise arrest him. Is it possible that the drug smuggler has a credibility problem? Of course not. It's the agents who are guilty unless they can prove the drug smuggler had a gun that he carried home to Mexico.
Well, it doesn't sound like the House leadership is buying U.S. Attorney Sutton's version of events. According to the IBD, Diane Feinstein explained the purpose of the hearings was to "examine the facts of the Ramos and Compean cases, the appropriateness of the charges brought against them and the very heavy sentences they received."
The IBD also stated: As she noted in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., requesting the hearings, "These men were given sentences that some individuals convicted of murder would not receive." Sentences, we might add, based on the suppression of evidence and the government's reliance on and coddling of a repeat drug-runner.
Likewise, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee criticized the 12- and 11-year prison sentences: And they strongly questioned federal prosecutors' decision to charge the pair with using a weapon during the commission of a crime — a 10-year penalty that most often is used against drug dealers and other criminals, not law enforcement officers obliged to carry guns as part of their jobs. This really is a case of prosecutorial ... overreaction in charging," said Feinstein. She chaired the hearing, which was attended by the wives of the ex-agents and other relatives. The senators bored in on some of the case's most nagging questions: Why the drug smuggler, who had been driving a van with a million-dollar payload of marijuana, was given immunity to testify against Ramos and Compean; why the trafficker was given unfettered permission to cross into the United States after the agents were charged; and whether he used that border-crossing privilege to bring in another million-dollar marijuana haul just months after the February 2005 incident near El Paso. "The public sees two Border Patrol agents serving long prison sentences while an admitted drug smuggler goes free," Cornyn said, adding that he has "serious concerns about the judgment calls made during the prosecution of this case."
It would be hard to imaglne this hearing not helping the Compean and Ramos cases in the push for presidential pardons.