U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is asking President-Elect Barack Obama to pardon two border patrol agents who were convicted in the 2005 shooting an unarmed drug smuggler and trying to cover up the crime.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were arrested after the drug smuggler, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, filed a complaint against them after the shooting in Fabens, Texas.
Testimony revealed Davila was running away when he was shot in the buttocks.
Davila was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for agreeing to return to the United States to testify against the two Border Patrol agents.
In Monday's letter to the president-elect, Tancredo said, "These are the kind of men whose government failed and destroyed them -- all while they were serving a cause greater than themselves. These men deserve justice. I, and many other Members of Congress, have repeatedly called upon President Bush to exercise his power to pardon -- but he has not done so."
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton prosecuted the case and released a statement earlier defending his actions in prosecuting Compean and Ramos.
"Some in the media and on the Internet have tried to portray Agents Compean and Ramos as heroes, but that narrative is false. The actions of Compean and Ramos in shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect, destroying evidence, and engaging in a cover-up, are serious crimes."
Sutton argued the man they were chasing didn't have a gun, shooting him in the back violated his civil rights, the agents didn't know for a fact that he was a drug smuggler, and they broke Border Patrol policy about discharging their weapons and chasing the suspect.
The two testified they thought they hadn't hit Davila and that's why they didn't report the shooting to their superiors. Compean picked up his shell casings immediately after the shooting, according to testimony.
The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered re-sentencing for the two after the court dismissed the convictions for tampering with an official proceeding.
Ramos will be sentenced on Thursday, and Jose Compean will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Tancredo's letter to the president-elect added, "I respectfully urge you to use your power as President to take the immediate, appropriate and long overdue step of freeing them in your first two weeks in office, and see to it that agents Ramos and Compean spend Presidents Day at home with their families -- instead of sitting in solitary confinement in a federal prison because they had the temerity to do their job."
Davila has filed a civil rights suit against the United States, seeking compensation and punitive damages.
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