Not quite sure what to make of this…
In his final acts of clemency, President George W. Bush on Monday commuted the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents whose convictions for shooting a Mexican drug dealer ignited fierce debate about illegal immigration.
Bush's decision to commute the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who tried to cover up the shooting, was welcomed by both Republican and Democratic members of Congress. They had long argued that the agents were merely doing their jobs, defending the American border against criminals. They also maintained that the more than 10-year prison sentences the pair was given were too harsh.
A lot of people on the right wanted Bush to grant to two men — who were heroic enough to shoot a man "in self defense" while he was running away from them — full pardons. I don't know what it means that he just commuted the remainder of their prison terms.
But Ben Smith says…
The commutations of Jose Campean and Ignacio Ramos are a gesture of solidarity with an anti-immigration base unable or unwilling to mobilize effectively for the GOP in November, and perhaps another blow to the party's collapsing relationship with Hispanic voters.
Yeah, because he really needs to sure up that support in his last few hours of office.
Tags: Drugs, George W. Bush, Mexico, Pardons