On his last full day in office, President Bush commuted the controversial sentences of two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a Mexican drug runner in 2005.
The imprisonment of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean had sparked outcry from critics who said the men were just doing their jobs and were punished too harshly. They had been sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively.
Their sentences will now expire on March 20 of this year.
Ramos and Compean were sentenced in connection with the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was shot in the buttocks while trying to flee along the Texas border. He admitted smuggling several hundred pounds of marijuana on the day he was shot and pleaded guilty last year to drug charges related to two other smuggling attempts.
Nearly the entire congressional delegation from Texas and other lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle pleaded with Bush to grant them clemency.
I was really worried that Bush would leave office without having done anything for these guys. I'm not saying they were completely without fault, so it's fitting that it's a commutation and not an outright pardon. But the fact that the prosecutors in this case actually brought Davila into the country to testify and, IIRC, basically gave him immunity... bah. It was a complete cluster and the sentences were much too harsh.