Bush commuted sentences of former border agents in last act of clemency

On January 19, 2009, President George W. Bush commuted the sentences of two former border control agents. Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos were convicted in 2006 of assault, discharge of a weapon in the commission of a crime of violence, tampering with an official proceeding, and deprivation of civil rights. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had issued a ruling upholding their convictions in July 2008. President Bush did not pardon the men, but reduced their original, 10-year sentences on the basis that such a penalty was excessive. The men were ultimately released in March 2009.

Learn more about the laws governing presidential pardons and commutations from the JURIST news archive.


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