Patterico's Pontifications

1/18/2007

Allegations from the Defense in the Border Patrol Shooting Case

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 8:49 pm



This is a follow-up post to this morning’s post about the Border Patrol shooting case.

In comments to my earlier post, Tom Maguire provides this link to statements about the case from Andy Ramirez, Chairman of “Friends of the Border Patrol” (Maguire says: “guess which side they are on?”). The document sets forth Ramirez’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, relating to various immigration issues. He addresses the Compean/Ramos case at page 41. Ramirez is not a percipient witness in the case, but rather speaks as someone who has taken an interest in the case from the perspective of the recently sentenced agents.

His statements about the case are rather unfocused and rambling, and it’s hard to know what to make of them. Maguire excerpts this portion:

In a nutshell, the border patrol agents engaged in a pursuit of Aldrete-Davila as they were trained to do, and violated the pursuit policy forbidding them from pursuits without the permission of supervisors. Compean cut the smuggler off at the Rio Grande River upon which a scuffle ensued as Aldrete-Davila tried to evade capture and re-enter Mexico.

Compean was overpowered and left bleeding from a cut. At this point, Ramos was attempting to get to the scene where the struggle had taken place and heard shots fired, though he could not see the scene, but understood as he was a firearms instructor that Compean had to be in trouble. As he entered the scene he saw, Compean down and cut and attempted to capture Davila who was still fleeing towards Mexico. At this point, the smuggler turned and the agents’ thought he had a weapon in his hand at which point Ramos fired one shot from his sidearm.

Neither agent at the time thought any shots had ever hit the smuggler, as he did not fall, limp, or showed any discomfort. Once in Mexico Aldrete-Davila was met by a vehicle, which he entered and sped away.

A number of agents, including a supervisor had reached the scene, and secured the smuggler’s load-vehicle, which was filled with 743 pounds of marijuana.

Maguire adds:

Apparently, most of the agents on the scene, including Juarez, whose testimony was cited above, are facing disciplinary problems themselves (no one filed a discharge of firearms report), and the allegation is that they have been encouraged to cooperate with the prosecution by taking an imaginative view of the truth.

Why the prosecutor might have it in for these two agents did not jump off the page at me.

Me neither.

To me, the document’s most significant allegation is that Agent Sanchez, the Border Patrol agent who witnessed the shooting according to the U.S. Attorney’s fact sheet, was allegedly a lifelong friend of the drug smuggler who was shot. [UPDATE 2-15-07: I got that wrong. An Agent Juarez witnessed the shooting, not Sanchez. This is far less significant.] But the statements about this are bizarre. For example:

The smuggler testifed that he and Rene Sanchez had not seen each other in the past year, while Rene Sanchez testified that he had not seen the smuggler since he was seven years old.

. . . .

When Rene Sanchez took the stand he testified that he had not seen the smuggler for approximately eight years.

Is Agent Sanchez fifteen years old? Obviously not. So what gives? Did Agent Sanchez really contradict himself that blatantly? Or do the Friends of the Border Patrol have their facts garbled? I honestly have to say that I have no idea which possibility is the right one.

I am intrigued, however, by the apparent fact that the agent/witness and the drug smuggler/shooting victim ever knew each other at all. That fact alone makes the unbiased observer wonder if something more isn’t going on here. [UPDATE 2-15-07: Far less so now that I realize that Agent Juarez is the one who witnessed the shooting.]

However, the testimony from Ramirez, the Friends of the Border patrol fellow, does absolutely nothing to explain arguably the most damning evidence against the agents: the fact that they picked up their shells, filed a false report about the incident, and pretended like it had never happened. To me, those are the actions of people who did something wrong and knew it. Ramirez’s only response is similar to that offered by Debra Saunders: that failing to report the shooting is an administrative issue with a maximum punishment of 5 days’ suspension. (I find that hard to believe; if it’s really true, the Border Patrol needs to change its rules, as failing to report a shooting strikes me as a serious offense.)

But Ramirez never addresses what those actions tell us about the agents’ state of mind. If they didn’t do anything wrong — if they fired at a guy whom they believed had been armed — why not just report the shooting and give supervisors the explanation?

Don’t tell me that they picked up the shells just to avoid filling out some paperwork. I don’t think there’s a cop alive who would buy that explanation. Law enforcement personnel are trained that any use of force — even tackling a suspect or pepper-spraying him — requires extensive documentation. Firing their weapons takes it to a whole different level, and cops are trained in the importance of following procedure in such cases. They know that any failure to fill out the necessary reports, if this failure is discovered, will cause supervisors and others to be very suspicious of the use of force.

Why risk that? I can think of only one reason: because the agents did not want the shooting to be investigated — because they knew they had done something wrong.

If a cop pretends as though a shooting like this didn’t happen, he is almost certainly hiding something.

If there’s an alternate explanation, I have yet to hear it — from Ramirez, from any of you, or from Debra Saunders.

Speaking of Debra Saunders, I wrote her with a link to my post. She didn’t appear to be very interested:

I get hundreds of emails each week and do not have the time to answer that long piece. Suffice it to say that I left out a number of facts from both sides of the issue because I have limited space. I am aware of the limitations I face writing about a trial I did not attend, which is why I worked hard to get Sutton’s views across. That said, I do not believe, and I wrote this, that these men should spend a night behind bars if Sutton is correct.

DJS

Finally: Saunders’ column and Ramirez’s testimony both raise the issue that perhaps as many as three jurors had argued for an acquittal but ended up voting guilty after the foreman told them that the judge wouldn’t accept a hung jury. These jurors don’t sound too bright to me, frankly, but if there is any truth to that claim, it will certainly be a ground for appeal. I’m content to let the legal process work it out, and determine whether something improper happened, or whether jurors are just having second thoughts after reading media coverage about the case.

98 Responses to “Allegations from the Defense in the Border Patrol Shooting Case”

  1. Patterico,

    What is the link regarding the eyewitness? My recollection from reading something a month or so ago was that the agent who knew the drug dealer was a person in another state who was called some time AFTER the incident (after hearing that the dealer was shot)–not someone who saw the shooting. I thought, from what I read before that NO one saw the shooting except the two BP agents and the drug dealer.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  2. The agent who is a friend of Mr. Drug Runner is named Rene Sanchez and he is assigned to the the Tucson sector, I believe. I do know that he is stationed in Arizona, not Texas where the incident happened.
    The “eyewitness” is another agent who works with Compean and Ramos and, according to a friend who works that sector, has been threatened with disciplinary action for not filing a report on what happened.
    Also, Compean did not pick up his shell casings, only Ramos did. And since a supervisor was called, he was the one that should have filed a report with the FBI. He did not do that.
    Everyone dropped the ball on this as far as procedure is concerned. Only Ramos and Compean are doing prison time for it.

    retire05 (663827)

  3. All of the above allegations have been debunked by the Department Of Justice. I urge everyone to read the 2 most recent entries on my blog.

    BMJ (0f277f)

  4. That said, I do not believe, and I wrote this, that these men should spend a night behind bars if Sutton is correct.

    As do many of the people that comment on the case it seems.

    There is a disconnect for me between what I experience in considering this case and what some others seem to be experiencing. I am aware it might be about me but I don’t think so.

    I was bothered by the whole argument about immigration starting about a year or so ago, it struck me as vaguely racist or paranoid or something. As a result I almost never commented on the subject on blogs because my sense of it is so different from what I read from others.

    Its almost as if people just discovered that we have an illegal immigration problem – something I’ve seen my entire life living in Texas. Or perhaps that they do not understand what these people are doing here, or that they have never met or seen any of them.

    I have – always – had a problem with us having ‘nod and wink’ laws that we do not really mean. If we are going to make these people illegal we should put the resources into getting them out of the country and keeping them out. If we want to use them as cheap labor – and clearly we do – we should make it feasible for them to come here, work, move back and forth between here and Mexico and send money home, etcetera, without having to walk across hundreds of miles of desert or break the law.

    For my part, I do not dislike Mexican laborers legal or illegal. As I said, I’ve watched this my whole life and I’ve learned what they’re doing here and I’ve been around them and I know that – unlike our islamofacist enemies – these people share our values, religious background and culture. I also know that my entire home was built by people that couldn’t speak English, probably illegals, at least some of them, and that my refrigerator likely doesn’t have a single item in it that hasn’t been picked, handled, processed or cleaned by an illegal.

    Contrary to what some apparently believe, illegal Mexicans come here to work, not to break the law and sell drugs or something. It is our own citizens that are here selling drugs – and don’t get me started on the futility of the drug war.

    Intelligent folks on the right should, IMHO, focus on our real enemies. We have people that would blow our cities up and slit our children’s throats gleefully, and we’re all worked up about Mexicans wanting to come clean our toilets and pick our freaking lettuce. What’s wrong with that picture?

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  5. “If a cop pretends as though a shooting like this didnt happen, he is almost certainly hiding something.”

    Lawyer fantasy-land.

    I have long maintained that when a bureaucracy imposes onerous reporting requirements, people will avoid making the reports, giving a result opposite of the original intent. I can understand – not excuse – that BP agents might not report shooting and missing in order to avoid an inquisition. *IF* they really believed they missed.

    As an aside, years ago a local state trooper was docked a day’s pay for MISSING a fleeing burglar, who escaped. A year later, when it was learned that he had indeed wounded the burglar, the trooper was given back his pay!

    [Are you a cop? I’d like to hear from cops on this. I already heard from one who agrees with me. — P]

    CM Smith (843567)

  6. Its almost as if people just discovered that we have an illegal immigration problem

    You don’t suppose 9/11 might have had something to do with that? I mean, it did for me.

    McGehee (5664e1)

  7. I get that 9/11 was an eye-opener but that doesn’t explain people being so irrational about this issue. If anything 9/11 should have inspired people to cold clear thinking IMO.

    When intelligent people are arguing its just fine and okie dokie for BP to be firing on unarmed people in the back its clear to me they’re not thinking.

    Look at post number 6. We’re talking about a shooting here, where BP has discharged 15 rounds at a fleeing suspect and people are excusing the agents for not reporting it – and cleaning and covering up the scene – over “onerous reporting requirements”.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  8. My reading of the Ramirez testimony was that a supervisor was present by the end of the incident and he did not submit a report, either. Only one agnet picked up his casing. I don’t know why they did it. I have seen one of the agents interviewed and he said the shooting started when he was crossing the creek and out of view. The other agent, who started shooting, was attacked by the drug smuggler and had a wound.

    The bit about onerous reporting requirements rings a bell with me. I can remember ambulance drivers arriving at the Main Admitting Room at LA County Hospital with a shooting victim who was clearly dead. They would tell us “He was breathing when we hit the door, doc.” That meant we had to fill out the DOA paperwork instead of them. Sometimes the MAR staff would ship the guy up to Surgery Admitting and say “He was breathing when he hit the elevator, doc.” That meant we had to fill out the DOA paperwork and not them. Of course, that was 30 years ago and I’m sure they are all much more conscientious now than their grandfathers were. Sure.

    Mike K (416363)

  9. Mike K,

    I think a cop discharging his weapon is different. But who knows? Maybe I’ll ask a couple three cops today what they think of it.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  10. […] UPDATE x2: Commenter Tom Maguire has provided a link to a document that sets forth some interesting allegations on behalf of the defense. I discuss them in this post. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Texas Border Patrol Shooting Case: Comparing Debra Saunders’s Columns to the U.S. Attorney’s Fact Sheet (421107)

  11. Here you go.

    I just went and took that picture, its a convenience store about .2 mile from where I’m sitting now. What you’re looking at is about a dozen illegal aliens standing there hoping someone will drive up and offer to let them come dig fence post holes all day for $40.

    Its 38 degrees out and a light mist. They’ll be there all day today. They’ve been there every day including every holiday the rest of us enjoy, just in the offhand hope someone will come give them an opportunity to make $30-40 doing manual labor in the freezing rain.

    The police know they’re there and are illegal. They are there every day, have been gathering at this location for 3 years that I have personal knowledge of. You could go approach one and ask to buy dope and they won’t be able to help you. All they do is say “work,work?”.

    If you went around the corner you’d see there are actually about 30 of them, I didn’t do that because I don’t want to freak the poor wretches out by driving up taking their picture.

    Those are the people that folks are arguing its ok for BP to be shooting unarmed then covering it up. I’m conservative but for me conservatism values people that want to work that badly and has little use for misconduct by law enforcement.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  12. Don’t tell me that they picked up the shells just to avoid filling out some paperwork. I don’t think there’s a cop alive who would buy that explanation.

    Over 20 years in the field, and now adminsistration, this is the spot on! There’s no way they thought they were avoiding paperwork. And so what? the pay’s the same whether you’re pushing a car or sitting in an office writing a report. They wouldn’t even have to write much, since there’d most likely be a shooting review investigation those investigators would handle most of the real report writing. It’s a clear case of conciousness of guilt to me. And all the justification in world, when presented after the fact that they lied, doesn’t clean it up.

    Patrick (d928f7)

  13. # 6 Hit or miss they are both veteran Officers and know better. At most they might have to write a statement and most of the paper would fall on the Investigators. In my experience you get in more trouble for lying about an incident than what you could get into for whatever is being investigated. Even if it was a bad shoot, they should know that lying about it only makes it worse. When I heard that they policed up the brass, that was the decider for me.

    Patterico, retired cop here. You are absolutely correct, these guys are dirty and the supervisor that let it go without a report is an idiot. That being said, the penalty was excessive.

    Labcatcher (afe438)

  14. So why is mexico whinning their goverment is the one who is encoraging the illegal imagration in the first place time for them to keep quiet

    krazy kagu (a90e92)

  15. “Look at post number 6. We’re talking about a shooting here, where BP has discharged 15 rounds at a fleeing suspect and people are excusing the agents for not reporting it – and cleaning and covering up the scene – over “onerous reporting requirements”.

    Comment by Dwilkers — 1/19/2007 @ 6:33 am”

    Not speaking for others: I wrote “understand – not excuse.”

    Used to be a cop, a long time ago, in another era, when officers might well shoot, miss and then merely ‘police their brass.’

    To be clear, my position is that IF the facts are as the defense claims, the agents are not guilty, but could be fired. But IF they knowingly shot an unarmed man, they are guilty.

    I watched the video of prosecutor Sutton on O’Reilly. When asked what the agents say in their defense, Sutton answers that all agree the man came out of the ditch with his hands empty. Didn’t mention that they say they then thought he had a gun (or made a furtive movement) as he was running. Do they claim that?

    CM Smith (843567)

  16. Patterico:
    I’d like to thank you for examining this case (which I was aware of only tangentially) so thoroughly.
    The prior entry, and the comments were quite eye-opening, and informative.
    I am drawing the conclusion that no one involved is covered in glory.

    Unix-Jedi (bc56eb)

  17. Dwilkers, while I appreciate your opinion that illegals are just coming here to work, that is not necessarily the entire truth.
    Yes, we have had a “wink, wink, nod, nod” policy toward illegals. But it has been a wrong headed policy and should be changed.
    You say that it is our citizens who sell the drugs. True, but you do not state where THEY get them from. And if there was no market for Mr. Drug Runner’s product, why would he have brought the poison here in the first place. It is not just our citizens selling the drugs, it is the illegal drug runner who sells the drugs to them so they can resell them.
    You say they share our religion, values and culture. I must respectfully disagree. They may share our religion (Christianity) but the illegal immigrant from south of our border does not share our culture or our values. Their culture and values are pan-American, not American. And there is a world of difference between the two.
    So how do we fix the problem? We cannot just open the gates and let every illegal in that claims to want to come here to work. We have no way of knowing that is their real reason for being here, and when you do it for one ethnic group, you will have to do it for ALL ethnic groups, including those from nations that subscribe to terrorism. To do otherwise would be considered racial profiling.
    When an immigrant wants to enter our nation, there is some responsibility required on the part of the immigrant. That responsibility is to honor our laws. I can promise you, you cannot go to Mexico or China, break their laws, and get a slap on the back of the hand. Enter either one of those nations illegally, and you will wind up in a very unpleasant jail. Immigration is designed to benefit the host nation, not the immigrant or the nation that the immigrant hails from.
    You say we should be worried about those who come here to harm us and not about the illegal who comes to pick our lettuce or build our houses. I agree in part. But how do you propose to separate the wheat from the chaf? If you just throw open the borders, then what is the purpose of having sovereignty laws and a Border Patrol?

    I, too, live in Texas, not far from the border. I too, have had work done on my home (I added 1,000 sq. ft. to a historic home) but I did not use illegal labor. I insisted that any contractor I used, used only legal labor. You see, I do believe in the rule of law, and the law states it is against the law to hire illegals. It can be done, and I felt that while I may not be able to be part of the solution, I did not need to be part of the problem.
    I would suggest you read this survey:

    http://www.drdsk.com/articles.html#Illegals

    One other question I have; why can’t Congressman Ted Poe (Tx) get copies of the transcripts from the trial?

    retire05 (663827)

  18. Dwilkers #12,

    Where I live, we also have places where illegals wait for work each day, but we don’t have many trees like that! I agree with you that most illegal immigrants come to Texas because they want to work. Good for them, but they need to come legally so we can screen them for criminal history, diseases and to make sure they are employable.

    I wish you would also post pictures of the illegal immigrants in our Texas emergency rooms, social services facilities, grocery stores using food stamps, and jails. Hospitals in some smaller West Texas communities have had to close because they did not have funding to cover the illegal immigrants who needed health care but couldn’t pay. Area residents have to drive 100 miles for hospital care. Schools are in dire straits because of the sheer numbers of students and because they have to spend money on buildings and bilingual education rather than teachers and basic education.

    To be sure, not every illegal immigrant has contributed to these problems but many do. We are flooded with illegal immigrants and the only real option is to stop the flood.

    DRJ (51a774)

  19. patterico,
    the Border Patrol has posted a rebuttal to Sutton’s Fact Sheet (talking points).
    I think you might be interested in what it has to say.

    http://www.nbpc.net/ramos_compean/rebuttal_to_sutton.pdf

    Why would a supervisor take the drug runner home with him? Why did the supervisor also take important evidence (the bullet fragment) home with him?
    This rebuttal from the BP union states that not only are officers NOT required to submit a written report of a shooting incident, but that they are discouraged from doing so.
    This, according to someone I know in the BP, is because of the shooting incidents where it is the BP being shot at, not the other way around. I was told that if the American people knew how many times the BP are shot at, both from illegals in our nation, but from the other side of the border as well, all America would be up in arms. It is a policy designed to reduce the publicity conserning the number of times our BP is fired on.

    If two supervisors were at the scene of the “crime” why was an FBI report not filed?

    retire05 (663827)

  20. I think he picked up the casings because they knew they did wrong but believed at the time that the illegal was NOT injured. Why bother to file a report then, if it’s just going to put you in jeopardy?

    It was only later that an injury was alleged.

    On March 10, 2005, Christopher Sanchez received a telephone call from Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez of Wilcox, Ariz., who told the agent about Aldrete-Davila’s encounter with Ramos and Compean.

    According to the document, Rene Sanchez stated “that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila’s mother, Marcadia Aldrete-Davila, contacted Rene Sanchez’s mother-in-law, Gregoria Toquinto, and advised her about the BP agents shooting Aldrete-Davila. Toquinto told her son-in-law, Rene Sanchez, of the incident, and he spoke to Osbaldo via a telephone call.”

    During the trial, the connection between Rene Sanchez and Aldrete-Davila confused the Ramos family, and “we questioned how an agent from Arizona would know or want to defend a drug smuggler from Mexico,” said Monica Ramos.

    http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_4141562

    So the drug smuggler’s mother had contacts within the Border Patrol and/or Homeland Security? Unbelievable. I’ll bet the drug cartel is happy about the agents being sentenced to 11 years!

    Patricia (824fa1)

  21. Retire05,

    Thanks for providing a link to the union’s rebuttal. I hope this matter gets a fair hearing in the Justice Department.

    Have these convictions been appealed and, if so, does the lack of finality preclude the possibility of a pardon?

    DRJ (51a774)

  22. 22

    The President can pardon at any point, for example Ford pardoning Nixon.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  23. The shooting incident occured on Feb. 17, 2005. The drug smuggler did not have his mother contact Sanchez’s mother-in-law until March 10, 2005. So we are to assume that the drug smuggler is such a tough guy that he could live with a wound that was so severe that it required medical treatment at a military facility? And we are accept that even though the wound was severe, he was able to run back across the border into Mexico without a problem?
    Doesn’t anyone have a question as to why a drug runner would have his mother contact a member of the Border Patrol? Or why that member of the Border Patrol, Rene Sanchez, did not follow the proper chain of command once he had taken Mr. Drug Runner to the hospital by notifing his supervisor but rather contacted another Mr. Sanchez at DHS?

    retire05 (663827)

  24. DRJ, the President can pardon at any time. But he is not going to pardon these two officers. Duncan Hunter has introduced in Congress today a bill to pardon Compean and Ramos. I do not know if Congress has the authority to do that.
    An appeal will take time. Hopefully, in appeal, evidence that was supressed at the first trial will be admitted. Such as the fact that the DHS representative, Sanchez, took the bullet fragment home with him destroying all DNA evidence on the fragment. So it cannot be proved that the bullet fragment sumitted as evidence is, in fact, the same bullet fragment taken from Mr. Drug Runner.

    retire05 (663827)

  25. Don’t tell me that they picked up the shells just to avoid filling out some paperwork. I don’t think there’s a cop alive who would buy that explanation.

    Having worked for the Federal government I adhere to a version of Ockham’s Razor that basically states ‘never attribute another motive before considering sheer laziness.’

    Regardless their actions sure look bad – bad enough to indicate guilt of something. I’m just not sure they are guilty of the charged crimes. This wasn’t exactly an OJ low speed chase kind of thing. This whole story sounds like the tip of a big ugly iceberg.

    ThomasD (21cdd1)

  26. Dwilkers,

    A good portion of the violent crime committed here in the valley of the sun seems to be illegal related.

    Natrium (d9ba0c)

  27. I like how the no nonsense prosecutor Johnny Sutton likens the BPAs to Stanley “Tooky” Williams. Yep, unbaised, fair and balanced. I believe everything this guy says. Plus, don’t you know that all people of Mexican decent know each other. I have a uncle whose retired Sheriff in Orange Co. Sheriff’s Department. I’m American I know all Americans. Don’t you know, I know everyone one of those guys in the department just because my uncle was employed there. (*insert sarcasm*) Yep, Rene just happens to know the family of a drug smuggler living in Mexico.

    Terri (bca4f8)

  28. Terri, try to do a little research. Rene Sanchez, the Border Patrol agent from Arizona who aided the illegal drug runner, admitted he had known Mr. Drug Runner since childhood. Sanchez is a naturalized citizen who was born in Mexico. Sanchez admitted that Mr. Drug Runner had his mother call Sanchez’s mother-in-law. And why would that be? I guess you think Mr. Drug Runner just picked up a phone book and said “hey, let’s call this guy” and that guy just happened to be a Border Patrol agent who grew up in the same Mexican town as Mr. Drug Runner. Talk about luck!!!
    So before you are going to delve into the absurd, try reading some of the articles related to this case.
    And Tookie Williams killed three people because they were Asian. So now I guess Sutton is going to tell us that two Hispanic Border Patrol agents shot another Hispanic just because he was Hispanic? Yeah, right.

    retire05 (663827)

  29. James B. Shearer and Retire05,

    I’m ignorant about pardons except for what I learned about them at the end of President Clinton’s term, but I thought that this law was passed in part to prevent pardons before the conviction was final and the time served. This information sheet from the DOJ seems to agree:

    Under the Department’s rules governing petitions for executive clemency, 28 C.F.R. §§ 1.1 et seq., a minimum waiting period of five years after completion of sentence is required before anyone convicted of a federal offense becomes eligible to apply for a presidential pardon. The waiting period, which is designed to afford the petitioner a reasonable period of time in which to demonstrate an ability to lead a responsible, productive and law-abiding life, begins on the date of the petitioner’s release from confinement.

    DRJ (51a774)

  30. DRJ, do you remember all the flack about Clinton pardoning Marc Rich? Rich has never served one day of his sentence, and in fact, has never returned to the United States. I do not think that rule applies to Presidential pardons, but could be wrong.

    retire05 (663827)

  31. With all due respect…Trying to defend their action regarding the lack of reporting after the shooting is like trying to polish a turd.

    Patrick (97a0a7)

  32. Retire05,

    I think there are laws and there are also DOJ policies that apply to Presidential pardons and one of the complaints about President Clinton’s pardons was that he breached them. As I recall, most legal experts decided there wasn’t any way to enforce those laws and policies if the President chose to ignore them, because that was an area of executive power that was not subject to the authority of the other branches of government.

    It will be interesting to see if President Bush adheres to those laws and policies when it comes to pardons. I think he has done so thus far but I’ve never looked at it to be sure.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  33. I used to work in law enforcement and it is astounding that only evidence that Jim Sutton has that the Border Patrol officers shot a known drug dealer in the back while fleeing is the plea bargained testimony from a drug dealer and a Border Patrol officer that was given immunity for testifying against Compean and Ramos after lying repeatedly to the Prosecutors office.

    What you left out of your discussions is that the Border Patrol Agent that initially reported iCompean and Ramos was a long time friend of the Drug Smuggler. It is against every regulation I have ever seen to have an ongoing friendship with a known felon while serving as a sworn member of a law enforcement agency. (See Sara Carters investigative pieces on Rene Sanchez)

    That being the case why is this BP agent still on duty and not being prosecuted or terminated for violating Policy and Procedures. Why would investigators ignore this serious violation in order to go after Compean and Ramos unless maybe they another agenda.(See BP Rules and Regulations)

    Here are some more facts that stink. Compean and Ramos immediate supervisor, Jonathan Richards, did not order a FBI investigation and was on the scene after the shooting. Why was he not prosecuted for violating policy? If they picked up the spent shells in the presence of Johnathan Richards how come it only became an issue when Compean and Ramos refuse to agree to a plea bargain with Suttons office?

    There was a third BP Agent that was given a plea bargain for testifying against the agents. He lied to investigators about the shooting repeatedly.

    The drug smuggler was caught again while waiting for the trial and after the trial was caught yet a third time for smuggling drugs. The second time he was arrested should have nullified his plea agreement.

    3 of the Jurors, Gourley, Torres and Woods said they would have voted not guilty but were pressured by the Jury Foreman into voting guilty. It turns out they did vote not guilty but changed their votes after the jury Foreman lied to them about jury instructions from the Judge. Jury tampering anyone?

    I could go on and on but one thing about this case bothers me from my perspective of a retired L.E officer. Due to the nature of drug trafficking, there are the huge amounts of money involved, many people are corrupted in the criminal justice system. It seems to me that this case screams corruption at the highest levels of the Justice Department.

    I think Compean and Ramos are being prosecuted for getting in the middle of a drug operation that had paid off Government officials for protection. (Do a google on BP corruption)

    Unfortunately, I saw many cops and Prosecutors corrupted by the war on drugs including Judges during my career.

    The only other logical alternative is that GWB ordered this to appease Mexico because in my all years of law enforcement, I have never seen such a miscarriage of justice by a Prosecuting Attorney, ever.

    They had every right to fire their weapons based on a reasonable belief the suspect was armed. The prosecutor took the word of a criminal over sworn law enforcement officers and made another plea bargain with a lying BP Agent in exchange for his “plea bargained based” Testimony to avoid being fired for lying.

    I urge all to read the letter by the father of Ignacio Ramos to Congressman Walter Jones.

    http://www.americanfreedomriders.com/JoeLoyaLetter.html

    I think this is special:
    “At sentencing in October, Debra Kanof, the prosecutor told the judge that all Mr. Davila wanted to do was go back home to Mexico. “Why didn’t they let him go?” she asked. For a year and a half before sentencing, the same prosecutor kept saying that all the smuggler wanted to do was surrender. They told the judge that the agents should have let him go because they did no know what was in the van and that it is not their duty to go after drug smugglers.”

    If that is the case, why did he get arrested 2 more times for drug smuggling during and after the trial?

    Something stinks in Denmark

    Scott D (9ccf7a)

  34. The BP union rebutal to Sutton would seem to indicate that our…discussion…as to the extent that the lack of reporting, or the act of picking up cases, indicates a ‘guilty mind’ is wasted since the agents deny those allegations rather than admit them as we – I – had inferred.

    1. The agents believed they had complied with the allegedly informal reporting requirement.
    2. One agent admits to moving one empty case, not the other 14 empties, with an explanation.

    Interesting also the claim that a supervisor would not accept one agent’s assault report because he wanted to avoid…an onerous reporting process. Odd, though, the claim that only the FBI could accept that report.

    As before: IF true.

    For what little it’s worth, lest my sympathy for those who may possibly have been unjustly convicted in misconstrued, may I note that I interceded and testified against a police officer who did only slightly less than the crime for which these two have been convicted.

    CM Smith (e062d0)

  35. Let’s add another twist to this travesty.
    Michael McCaul (R-Tx) and a former federal prosecutor, said that he and other Congressmen had been briefed by Department of Homeland Security that the two Border Patrol agents had admitted that they knew Davila (Mr. Drug Runner) did not have a gun and they “intended to shoot Mexicans.”
    McCaul has requested that investigative report from DHS, but has been stonewalled.

    Another thing to note: DHS says that they cannot provide the report to McCaul because it is part of an ongoing investigation of SEVEN other Border Patrol agents IN THIS CASE.

    Does anyone but me have a problem with this? I knnow Mike McCaul and he is a fair man. He just wants to get to the bottom of this case. Is the DHS refusing to give the report to McCaul because of the fact that he was a federal prosecutor and could see the big gaping holes in this case?

    And why whould there be an on going investigation into this case that involves sever other agents?

    http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitian/4481939.html

    retire05 (663827)

  36. they picked up their shells, filed a false report about the incident, and pretended like it had never happened.

    Doesn’t add up; there was a van with 750lbs of marijuana right there. Unless they planned to hide the van, there was no way that they intended to cover up the entire incident. I don’t think they claimed to have stumbled upon an empty van stuck in the mud.

    True Thurts (d21251)

  37. I like the evidence that proves the runner of 750lbs of drugs, who escaped back into Mexico by running through a river, had no gun. Sutton can expect a call from Nifong of the Duke rape case — “Damn, how’d you do that? Give me tips.”

    Wesson (c20d28)

  38. “Those are the people that folks are arguing its ok for BP to be shooting unarmed then covering it up. I’m conservative but for me conservatism values people that want to work that badly and has little use for misconduct by law enforcement.”

    Dwilkers, this is all the evidence I need that you aren’t interested in a serious discussion of immigration policy; your purpose is just to demonize the other side.

    The man who was shot was smuggling 400 pounds of marijuana and assaulted a border patrol agent while escaping. This is not an innocent hard-working illegal day laborer and you should be ashamed of yourself for implying that people who think it’s reasonable to shoot at a fleeing felon who assaulted a federal officer would also think it is reasonable to shoot at someone whose only offense is illegal entry.

    [My understanding is that they didn’t know the guy had pot when they shot at him. — P]

    Doc Rampage (57b67a)

  39. Andy Ramirez was correct when he said the following: “Agents Ramos and Compean are the kind of guys you want in the foxhole next to you. They’re poster boys for the kind of Border Patrol agents we want and need to protect our borders.”

    Ramos was up for Border Patrol Agent of the Year when this happened.

    Bush doesn’t want the border secured, every fool knows that.

    Johnny Sutton, the US Prosecutor, is a GWB appointee. He’s given more versions of what happened about the testimony than Aldrete-Davila, the drug smuggler for cartel “X”. (and he changed his story numerous times)

    The judge is a GWB appointee. SHE got to decide what testimony was allowed and what wasn’t……

    Agents threatened with prosecution became government witnesses.

    The list goes on and on…

    In summary, this thing STINKS to high heaven.

    No doubt the prosecution knew it – that’s why they kept offering plea bargains.

    Each time Ramos and Compean turned down the plea bargains, the prosecution piled on more pressure with more charges.

    That’s called persecution and not prosecution.

    PS: Dwilkers, I live close enough to the border to see Mexico out my window. The illegals coming through here are not nice guys. They aren’t looking for work. And whenever you do find 30 or more daylaborers standing around WAITING for work that should tell you that we’re over-supplied with manual laborers. The economy has not absorbed them, or they’d have jobs and not be looking for work. In short, we don’t need them. If you just want to feel sorry for someone, concentrate on Darfur.

    …and the cultural differences are greater than what most assume. In some ways, the cultures (and there are more than one) south of us are closer to Middle Eastern cultures than US/Canadian cultures.

    Cactus Wren (c46ba5)

  40. Doc, what I’ve read is that he injured himself between his thumb and forefinger by improperly handling his weapon. That is something I’m well familiar with having done it myself – its very easy to do and they seem to have unloaded their weapons at this guy.

    I’ll tell you what I’ll drop it though. I wasn’t there.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  41. I have watched prosecutor Sutton on two TV appearances and have read the prosecution “fact sheet” and the BP union rebuttal to the fact sheet. I think it’s interesting that there is another layer of credibility to assess.

    Even when appearing after an attorney for the BP agents, Sutton denied that the agents claimed to have seen a gun, both times using the formulation – “all agree” that the drug smuggler came out of the ditch with his hands empty and in the air.

    When pressed by Sean Hannity, Sutton waffled and virtually admitted it was so. Yet, he could not bring himself to say, “Yes, the agents claimed they saw a gun.”

    I have no idea whether or not the agents are telling the truth, but I’m fairly confident in concluding, based on what he said and HOW he said it, that Sutton is a liar. It’s especially odd that he told a lie that he didn’t have to tell. He could simply say that the agents claimed to have seen a gun but the jury found against them.

    It’s generally fair to conclude that when an attorney is a liar, his client is a liar too.

    [How do you know all agents didn’t agree? My understanding is that he comes out of the ditch, hands in the air. Then the defendants say he struggled with them and one of them claims to have seen what appeared to be a gun in his hand after that. But I don’t know what the facts were at trial, and I doubt you do either. — P]

    CM Smith (fdcf66)

  42. Here is another question that should be asked:

    Since DHS and the U.S. Attorney’s office has had the time to investigate the shooting, arrest Compean and Ramos, take it to trial, plead the prosecution’s case, find them guilty and reach a verdict why are they stonewalling on giving a report to Congressman Mike McCaul using the reasoning that the report contains information on an ongoing investigation into seven other Border Patrol? And isn’t it odd that there it just happens that seven other Border Patrol responded to the shooting scene? Is DHS asking us to believe that they can wrap up a shooting case in two years but cannot wrap up an investigation into the other BP at the scene in that amount of time? And why is Sutton stonewalling in providing Congressman McCaul, et al, with the transcripts of the trial with the excuse that the court reporter, who is qualified to do the transcription, is ill? What if that court reporter died? Do that mean that there would not be anyone to take his/her place and do the transcription? Why did Sutton feel the necessity to give seven press releases, both during and after the trial and on the day that Compean and Ramos reported for prison, to major newspapers throughout Texas and the nation? Could it be for the same reason that Mike Nifong gave 70 press interviews while he was running for office?
    One doesn’t have to be a blood hound to smell a rat in this case.

    retire05 (663827)

  43. I just had e-mail communication with a friend of mine who is a prosecutor (not Federal) in El Paso. It was his understanding that the Agents were actually prosecuted for lying rather than the shooting, just like Libby. He believes that the prosecutors got the sentence by using an enhancement “under the guideline punishment range with a deadly weapon finding, e.g., because the underlying event involved firearms.”

    Does anyone know if this is true? My friend was not directly involved although he knows some of the players. This is apparently the story going around El Paso in the legal community.

    He also says that the agents were initially offered a great plea deal.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  44. Hmmm..Debra Saunders says this:

    After a two-and-a-half-week trial, a jury found them guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm during a violent crime, obstructing justice, lying about the incident and willfully violating the Fourth Amendment right to be free from illegal seizure of Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila..

    I guess my friend was incorrect. That is, if Saunders is right.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  45. Jerri Lynn, it is my understanding that the U.S. Attorney’s office offered Compean and Ramos a plea bargain of one year for a plea of guilty of falsifing a formal report. When they turned that down, the U.S. attorney’s office uped the anti.

    retire05 (663827)

  46. My friend didn’t say the length of time. He said they were offered minimum charges and time in a halfway house. He said that it was the agents own fault that they ended up with so much time–but he is coming from a prosecutorial point of view that I don’t agree with.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  47. Jerri Lynn, according to Ramos’ father in law, the two were offered a plea bargain with one year imprisonment if they copped a plea of guilty to falsifing a official report.
    They declined the plea offer and the U.S. Attorney’s office upped the anti at that point.

    retire05 (663827)

  48. Unfortunately, Jerri Lynn, I think the BP agents had lightweight lawyers who were trying to go up against the full weight of the federal government behind the U.S. attorneys. What they really needed was a big name defense attorney who could get their side of the story out into the public better than they did. But I am sure money was a factor.
    It will be interesting when the court reporter is no longer sick and can transcribe the testimony given.
    BTW, Jerri, what’s the latest on Ronnie Earle? He has been unusually quiet lately.

    retire05 (663827)

  49. My friend, who is pretty much on the side of the US attorney in this case, thinks very highly of at least one of the defense lawyers, Mary Stillinger.

    I haven’t heard anything about Ronnie Earle lately. I hope that he will get what’s coming to him like Nifong has.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  50. I think this case is a bomb that is going to go off like the Duke case. The speculation about drug cartel influence is one aspect. Another is the administration policy on the border but this seems a far-fetched theory for this case. I do think there is a possibility they were offered a deal and punished for persisting in a not guilty plea. I have spent 30 years testifying as an expert witness in trauma cases and in medical malpractice cases. I’ve seen lawyers lie and I’ve been asked to lie. There is something here that just doesn’t smell right. Drugs corrupt everybody involved. This may be an example. We haven’t heard the end of this by any means.

    Mike K (416363)

  51. Jerri, while Mary Stillinger may be stellar in her ethics, she is still controlled by Johnny Sutton who was obviously planning on using this case as one more step in his career building.

    MikeK, yes, drugs corrupt everyone. Remember Serpico?
    Also, there is a fair amount of corruption within the Border Patrol. Two BP were just convicted of being “cayotes” and bringing illegals over in their BP vehicles. They got less time than Compean and Ramos.
    I also have a problem with Kathleen Cardone. She is the judge who would not allow Davila’s criminal record to be admitted as evidence in this case. A Bush appointee, Cardone majored in Spanish and Latin studies. She then moved to El Paso to be closer to the subject of her major.

    Nobody was impartial in this case. But I still have a question as to why the other seven BP that appeared on the scene are still under investigation. I think it would be safe to say “intimidation”.

    retire05 (663827)

  52. Here’s a link to a March 3, 2006, El Paso Times’ archives that contains an article that (apparently) quotes some of the officers’ trial testimony. Here’s the first paragraph from the archives:

    “El Paso Times The Border Patrol agent who shot the single bullet that hit an admitted drug smuggler in the buttocks near Fabens last year testified Thursday that he acted to help a colleague in distress.

    Agent Ignacio Ramos was running through a drainage ditch to help agent Jose Alonso Compean, who was trying to stop a fleeing drug smuggler. When Compean started shooting, Ramos was still in the ditch, his lawyers have said.

    “I assumed Mr. Compean was shooting for a…”

    You have to buy the article to read the whole thing. I did not buy it so I’m not sure how much detail it provides, but some here may want to buy and read the complete article.

    DRJ (51a774)

  53. “It will be interesting when the court reporter is no longer sick and can transcribe the testimony given.”

    That rings my alarm bell. I partially lost a case I should have won completely because of a “sick” court reporter. Not only did he give us the transcript three months late, he kept every sustained objection off the record, taking the judge’s “that will be stricken from the record” literally. So I had bystanders’ testimony of substantial improper questioning and argument on the part of the prosecutor and a model of fairness in the transcript. I recommend a motion to preserve the tapes and the defense paying to have them transcribed by their own stenographer.

    nk (2e1372)

  54. [My understanding is that they didn’t know the guy had pot when they shot at him. — P]

    Right. For all they knew he had a van full of vx nerve gas.

    If it had been a van full of WMD and the agents had allowed the guy to jog back to Mexico without unholstering their weapons, they wouldn’t be getting pats on the back by the likes of Sutton and Bush; they would be the fall-guys and facing a worse future than they are today.

    True Thurts (d21251)

  55. nk, there are a lot of alarm bells going off in this case, from my perspective. Let me list a few:
    DHS’s stonewalling on providing Congressmen with the initial investigative report?
    Judge’s refusal to allow Davila’s criminal history into evidence
    Judge’s refusal to allow the jury to know the amount of drugs in the van (although they were shown a picture of the van, could you tell the amount was almost 800 pounds?)
    The sealed immunity agreement with Davila
    The conflicting testimony of both Davila (Mr. Drug Runner) and the Tucson sector BP agent, Rene Sanchez
    The friendship between Davila and BP Rene Sanchez
    Lack of DNA on the bullet fragment because DHS Sanchez (another Sanchez) took the fragment home with him from the medical facility (why was DHS Sanchez allowed to handle such an important piece of evidence?)
    Lack of being able to specifically prove that the bullet fragment came from Ramos’ gun (ballistics said that it COULD HAVE come from Ramos’ gun)
    The initial plea bargain for one year’s prison term
    Why were Compean and Ramos arrested after their houses had been surrounded by SWAT teams? Were they considered flight risks?
    Why are the seven BP agents that arrived at the scene of the shooting still under investigation after two years?
    Why were BP chaplains order by BP supervisors ordered to step down and not administer services to Ramos, Compean and their families?
    Why was an El Paso sector BP ordered, under threat of disclipine, to stop making noises about Rene Sanchez calling the El Paso sector inquiring about recent drug busts and/or apprehensions (which happened prior to the incident)?

    From what I can tell, these are all the questions being asked by the different BP locals like Local 2544.

    retire05 (663827)

  56. Hmmm…

    But an Office of Inspector General memorandum obtained by the Daily Bulletin Tuesday contradicts Sutton’s claim that Ramos and Compean reported Aldrete-Davila was unarmed.

    The memorandum of activity was written April 4, 2005, by Christopher Sanchez, the OIG investigator who questioned Compean about the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting. Sanchez was the same agent who went to Mexico to interview Aldrete-Davila, according to documents obtained by the newspaper. Sanchez brought the smuggler back under protective custody to the United States, where he was given medical care and was granted immunity by the Texas U.S. Attorney’s office to testify against the agents.

    Sutton could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

    The six-page memo includes Compean describing what happened after Aldrete-Davila wrestled with the agent and threw dirt in his eyes.

    “Compean said that Aldrete-Davila continued to look back over his shoulder towards Compean as Aldrete-Davila ran away from him,” the memo reads. “Compean said that he began to shoot at Aldrete-Davila because of the shiny object he thought he saw in Aldrete-Davila’s hand and because Aldrete-Davila continued to look back towards his direction. Compean explained that he thought the shiny object might be a gun and that Aldrete-Davila was going to shoot at him because he kept looking back at him.”

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra(cq with official web site) Kanof told the Daily Bulletin in August that the agents never told anyone the smuggler was carrying a gun. Kanof also could not be reached for comment on the incident report.

    Well, this bothers me.

    Jerri Lynn Ward (9f83e6)

  57. Thank you, True Thurts, for bringing us back to the larger issue. Our defenseless borders.

    Retire05, the agents truly have my sympathy. And I hope the record is as you say. And I fervently hope that the record has been properly preserved.

    nk (8214ee)

  58. Forgive me if I tend to give our law enforcement officers the benefit of doubt in cases like these. Most LE officers I know are dedicated people who just want to keep Americans safe from the bad guys. Yeah, there are a few who use the position for their own personal profit, but for the most part, they don’t.
    This whole case seems to me. But I can’t figure why these two were hung out to dry. Political acheivement on the part of Sutton? Pro-illegal stance on the part of Kathleen Cardone? The administration’s policy of pandering to Vicente Fox and Mexico? I just don’t know.
    I do know that when we start assuming LE is guilty until proven innocent, we have lost the war against crime. Who in the hell would ever want the job of BP agent now?
    The Tucson sector now has 44 agents on disciplinary suspension. Any, ANY complaint lodged against a BP results in the removal of their badges, their guns and their duty station. These complaints should be resolved as quickly as possible, but some of these cases are well over a year old. So we have 44 agents, hired to protect our borders and the American people, basically sitting around the office not allowed to do their jobs.
    The administration has promised many additional Border Patrol. Under the circumstances, where are we supposed to get them? Who wants to work for an employer who will not back you up when you do your job, rather throwing the book at you?

    retire05 (663827)

  59. I don’t know if these officers were “hung out to dry” although I agree there are aspects of this case that are suspicious. I have a pro-police bias so, to me, it is very troubling that the prosecutors would treat these guys like dirty cops.

    However, I know that all attorneys – including prosecutors – have to look at the facts of a case, decide what they think happened (including who is telling the truth), and then move the case forward. Perhaps Johnny Sutton put his blinders on once he decided the officers had done something wrong. He may be right – the jury apparently agreed with him – or he may be wrong.

    Further, there may be politically-based meddling in this case but, if so, I doubt it came from the White House. That would be a politically stupid thing to do over a case that isn’t that important in the big scheme of things, except of course to the parties involved. I think it would be far more likely that any PC motives came from the prosecutor himself or from the AG’s office.

    DRJ (51a774)

  60. [How do you know all agents didn’t agree? My understanding is that he comes out of the ditch, hands in the air. Then the defendants say he struggled with them and one of them claims to have seen what appeared to be a gun in his hand after that. But I don’t know what the facts were at trial, and I doubt you do either. — P]

    Don’t claim to know the facts at trial.
    I’m applying the standards that I’d guess juries do when watching a witness testify. Sutton stumbled, waffled and hedged his words. He would not answer the question. You know…depends on what the meaning of “is” is.
    The agent’s lawyer had just said the agent testified he saw a gun.
    When asked directly if the agents claimed they saw a gun, Sutton answered about the ditch. Well, to paraphrase a recent news story, he wasn’t asked that.

    Plus, coloring my perception, I’ve had exactly this happen to me. A man came at me with his hands “in the air.” Was he surrendering or attacking me? He was attacking me.

    CM Smith (98c708)

  61. Cactus Wren – Ramos was up for Border Patrol Agent of the Year when this happened.

    On the Roger Hedgecock show (I know, I can’t stand his shtick either), Johnny Sutton says this award is like Tookie Williams being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Charming. Sutton was on FNC the other day too – it is creepy how he dismisses questions about the lame evidence by just saying the jury has decided.

    http://rogerhedgecock.com/files/best-of/Johnny%20Sutton%201%2017%2007.mp3

    Wesson (c20d28)

  62. “Everyone agreed the alien came out of the ditch with his hands in the air”? Who was everyone? Ramos wasn’t there and didn’t see anything until he saw Compean on the ground.
    And can someone please tell me how you know how many shells were involved if the two BP threw them in the Rio Grand river?

    retire05 (663827)

  63. On the Roger Hedgecock show (I know, I can’t stand his shtick either), Johnny Sutton says this award is like Tookie Williams being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Sorry, but that analogy had already occurred to me as well. Until we know what it takes to be nominated, that is pretty meaningless to me — just as Tookie’s nomination was when I learned how easy it is to nominate someone.

    An analogy is not an equation, and it’s a fallacy to treat it as one.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  64. From another article:

    Sutton told WND “there was no way we could prosecute” Aldrete-Davila.

    “Ramos and Compean could not identify him,” he said. “We found no fingerprints on the van, and he managed to escape, even though he had been shot in the behind by the agents.”

    Sutton says he couldn’t prosecute Davila because he couldn’t be positively identified as the suspect but he prosecuted the agents because he positively identified Davila as the suspect.

    How is it relevant at this point that they found no fingerprints on the van? He’s trying to create confusion by having Davila exist and not exist simultaneously.

    [This is explained clearly in Sutton’s fact sheet. Either you haven’t read it, or you need to read it again. — P]

    True Thurts (d21251)

  65. Patterico, they may not have known that the man had illegal substances, but they probably suspected it and they did know that he had just assaulted a federal officer who was trying to apprehend him.

    Doc Rampage (57b67a)

  66. [This is explained clearly in Sutton’s fact sheet. Either you haven’t read it, or you need to read it again. — P]

    The fact sheet says the agents couldn’t tie Davila to the van but that is irrelevant because Sutton tied Davila to the van.

    True Thurts (d21251)

  67. How did he do it?

    I know the answer, but since you don’t seem to, I’m going to walk you through it.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  68. This is the exact quote from the fact sheet:

    Because the agents could not identify him, found no fingerprints, could not tie him to the van and did not apprehend him after shooting him, the case against Aldrete could not be proven.

    Let’s take this a point at a time.

    Because the agents could not identify him,

    The agents didn’t know the guy. How often do cops know the name of the guy they are tussling with? The guy wasn’t even from the same country as the agents.

    found no fingerprints

    Does this mean that there is no one in jail who didn’t leave fingerprints at the scene of the crime?

    could not tie him to the van

    They certainly did tie him to the van. He got out of the van and started running.

    and did not apprehend him after shooting him,

    He was apprehended later. Not every prosecuted criminal was apprehended at the scene of the crime. Even criminals that don’t have some line in the sand they can run to and be safe from persual are often apprehended away from the scene of the crime, sometimes even at hospitals with a bullet in their behinds.

    the case against Aldrete could not be proven

    Sutton tries to make the case that it could not be proven that Aldrete was the suspect, yet he prosecuted the agents on the assumption that Aldrete was the suspect.

    True Thurts (d21251)

  69. You didn’t answer my question.

    Is there a reason for that?

    How did they tie him to the van?

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  70. It’s not even a point of contention that the guy who was shot was the guy who abandoned the van.

    I guess, and it’s just a guess, that the prosecutor thinks he can fool a few people in his “fact sheet” by having the second deception ride along with the first deception he established. The agents didn’t know the suspect which means we haven’t established his existence so you can’t tie a van to someone whose existence hasn’t been established.

    [If you’d answer my question, I could maybe explain this to you. But you are refusing to answer a simple question. How did they tie the guy to the van? It’s in the fact sheet. — P]

    True Thurts (d21251)

  71. Patterico, you asked “how did they tie him to the van?” One agent saw him driving the van, the first agent (Officer Juarez) saw Davila in Fabens in the van. He persued Davila and called for backup from Compean. Ramos was in the office when he heard the call for backup. He then got in his vehicle to intercept the chase.
    Davila drove the van up on a berm and abandoned it.
    So the first officer saw Davila in the van, and there is your tie.
    You might also want to make a note of the fact that Friends of The Border Patrol organizer was in the court room and wrote that Officer Juarez changed his story a number of times, admitting that the U.S. Attorney’s office had pressured him to do so. I would warrent he is one of the seven officers who are still under investigation by DHS.
    IMO, there is nothing dirtier than a dirty cop. I think the book should be thrown at them. But this case has just too many loose ends and the fact that DHS is still investigating seven officers who were at the scene of the shooting (although not having seen the shooting) tells me that the U.S. Attorney’s office is putting pressure on them for a reason. Now, if someone can explain to me how the U.S. Attorney’s office can take two years to prescute two Border Patrol agenst, with help of a DHS investigation, but can’t wrap up the investigation of seven other officers, I am willing to listen.
    Sutton said that the shell casings were thrown in the river. How did they retrieve those casings to determine that 15 shots were fired? Throw a quarter in the Rio Grande and see if you can find it. Good luck. The “15 shots” story came from Mr. Drug Runner. Agent Compean fired 9 shots while Ramos fired one. When the shell casings were recovered (from a ditch, not the Rio Grande) nine shell casing were new, the other five were old. The nine shell casings would have been from Compean’s fire arm. I don’t think the government issues old casings to Border Patrol.
    Sutton has stated that he has no knowledge of whether or not any other officer filed written reports on the incident. Do you not have a problem with that? He also stated that he was unaware of Davila being caught bringing drugs into the United States in October, 2005. Please, are we to believe that?
    So you have a jury that is not allowed to hear that immunity was given to Davila, not allowed to know the amount of drugs Davila brought into the U.S., not allowed to be told that Davila was busted a second time and given another “use” immunity for that bust, not allowed to hear that Davila was promised a “resident visa” for his testimony, not allowed to hear the testimony of Davila’s family members who said he was never without a gun on his person and a prosecuting attorney that made the argument to a jury that the only reason Davila ran drugs was to help his sick mother.
    Add to that three inexperienced jurors who were told that the judge would not accept a hung jury and would only accept a guilty verdict. Why did the judge not instruct the jury as to their options? Perhaps the jury foreman should be asked why he told those three jury members such a blatant lie.
    Like I said, too many lies, inconsistancies and misrepresentations.

    retire05 (663827)

  72. retire05,

    Do you have a reliable link for the proposition that the jury did not get to hear that Davila got use immunity? If that’s true, it sounds like a major error by the judge, and I predict the case will be promptly reversed.

    But I hope you have something better than an assumption or that confusing presentation by the Friends of the Border Patrol guy.

    Same question for the subsequent bust claim. Sutton appears to deny any subsequent arrest pretty clearly in his fact sheet.

    Actually, same question for the proposition that Juarez saw Davila in the van and could ID him as the driver. If true, then once again, Sutton would seem to be lying.

    Where are you getting all of these facts?

    Is there a trial transcript available?

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  73. Actually, I’ll just ask for sourcing on every fact you allege. The idea that the jury was

    not allowed to hear that Davila was promised a “resident visa” for his testimony

    once again, sounds like strong grounds for reversal if true — but *sounds* a lot like a rumor spread by credulous supporters of these agents, who will buy absolutely anything said in their defense and discount absolutely anything that implicates them. I just find it very difficult to believe that any judge would exclude such basic impeachment evidence of a central government witness, knowing it would lead to a reversal.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  74. [If you’d answer my question, I could maybe explain this to you. But you are refusing to answer a simple question. How did they tie the guy to the van? It’s in the fact sheet. — P]

    The “how was suspect x tied…” is non sequitur until the “suspect x was tied…” has been established, and when the “suspect x was tied…” was established it falsified the “fact sheet”.

    When you ask “How did they tie…”, are you referring to a different “they” than the agents who tussled with the suspect? Ramos and Compean were the “they” Sutton was referring to and I explained how they tied the suspect to the van.

    Please do explain this to me, if you think you can. Try to do so without use of irrelevancies,
    Non sequiturs or assertions that conflict with Sutton’s own assertions.

    True Thurts (d21251)

  75. Patterico, I have used many different sources; Mr. Loya, one of the fathers-in-law who was in court every day, the BP union who had a representative in court every day and Friends of the Border. As well at the writing that appear on every one of the BP Locals web sites.
    Why would the Union print a rebuttal to Sutton and include, as fact, things that are not true? What would be their purpose in that? Why did the Union, in it’s rebuttal to Sutton, mention that Agent Juarez and two other agents were given immunity for their testimony if it were not true? Those three agents would have had the right to union representation when the immunity offer was made. And immunity for what?
    Why would the Union make the statement that Davila was, in fact, busted again in October, 2005 and that DEA agents were not allowed to testify due to an ongoing investigation? Why would the Union claim that the deal cut with Davila was “sealed” if it were not?
    I know a lot of LE officers. And they are good, honest cops that look at those who break the rules as a cancer on their backsides that needs to be taken out. If that is the case, then why is the Border Patrol, as a whole, coming to the defense of the two who have been found guilty of criminal acts?
    Surely, you must have some question as to why Mike McCaul cannot get a copy of the investigative report from DHS? You must have a question as to why there is still an ongoing investigation into the seven other officers that were at the scene (albeit, after the fact) of the shooting. You must have some question as to why Sutton says that Ramos and Compean cannot identify Davila as the driver of the van, when Juarez testified that he saw Davila drive and ditch the van. Davila admitted, on the stand, that he was the driver. So no, there has never been any question as to who was driving the van loaded with over 700 lbs. of pot, except in the mind of Sutton when he was trying to prove that Ramos and Compean were unaware of who was driving the van.
    Come on, Patterico, you’re a sharp mind (even if you are a teasipper, LOL). Surely you can see the holes in this? Why, if Ramos and Compean said they only wanted to “shoot some Mexicans” according to the investigative report as told to Mike McCaul, was that not part of the prosecutions argument? I don’t think it was.
    Why is Sutton stonewalling on having the trial transcripts released by using the excuse that the court reporter is “ill”. God help us if only the court reporter who took the transcription is the only one that can transcribe court proceedures. What happens in a terrorist’s trial if a court reporter dies?
    Mike McCaul is a good guy. And he will not back dirty cops. I can promise you that.
    Perhaps you are playing devil’s advocate here. I don’t know. But I do know there are holes in this case big enough to drive a semi through. I can only hope that these discrepancies will come out in appeal.
    Sutton also said that the two were not put into the general population in prison. That is not what I am being told. I am told they are in the general population.
    One other question: how many times have you ever heard of a prosecutor putting out seven press releases DURING an ongoin trial? I would think that a prosecutor would not do that, relying on the facts speaking for themselves. Shades of Mike Nifong?

    retire05 (663827)

  76. [If you’d answer my question, I could maybe explain this to you. But you are refusing to answer a simple question. How did they tie the guy to the van? It’s in the fact sheet. — P]

    Who is the “they” you are referring to? The “they” Sutton was referring to was Agents Ramos and Compeon, and I explained how they tied the suspect to the van.

    Please do explain this to me, if you think you can. Try to do so without using irrelevancies, non Sequitur or assertions that conflict with Sutton’s own assertions.

    More deception by the prosecution:

    Once the prosectution attempted to argue that the suspect couldn’t be identified, it would have been inept for the defense not to challenge the notion ( as factual as that notion might be ) that a bullet from the defendants gun entered the body of someone who hasn’t been identified.

    So the defense did argue this point, as well they should have, and the prosecution then uses this as their strongest evidence in support of conviction because forensics matched the bullet with the Ramos weapon and he’s arguing he didn’t do it.

    It’s enough to make Nifong puke.

    True Thurts (d21251)

  77. I can’t understand why my last two submissions weren’t posted I’ll try with a different name.

    [If you’d answer my question, I could maybe explain this to you. But you are refusing to answer a simple question. How did they tie the guy to the van? It’s in the fact sheet. — P]

    Who is the “they” you are referring to? The “they” Sutton was referring to was Agents Ramos and Compeon, and I explained how they tied the suspect to the van.

    Please do explain this to me, if you think you can. Try to do so without using irrelevancies, non Sequitur or assertions that conflict with Sutton’s own assertions.

    More deception by the prosecution:

    Once the prosectution attempted to argue that the suspect couldn’t be identified, it would have been inept for the defense not to challenge the notion ( as factual as that notion might be ) that a bullet from the defendants gun entered the body of someone who hasn’t been identified.

    So the defense did argue this point, as well they should have, and the prosecution then uses this as their strongest evidence in support of conviction because forensics matched the bullet with the Ramos weapon and he’s arguing he didn’t do it.

    It’s enough to make Nifong puke.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  78. retire05,

    I could ask the same questions about Sutton. Why would he tell lies?

    The answer, on both sides, is bias. Your sources are biased in favor of the agents. Mr. Sutton is biased against them.

    You’ll notice that my posts constantly qualify the statements about the fact sheet by saying “if the fact sheet is true” and the like.

    But Sutton puts his name behind his claims. If he’s lying — and if your claims are all true, he’d have to be — he faces real consequences for that.

    By contrast, you are making claims that are not attributable to a specific person. If they turn out to be wrong, an anonymous person (or perhaps in some cases a named person) shrugs his shoulders and says, oops.

    Some of your claims simply don’t ring true. I can’t say for sure that they’re false, but they do not have the ring of truth. For example, it would be quite extraordinary — quite extraordinary indeed — if Davila testified, and had been offered immunity and immigration benefits, and the jury was not allowed to hear that. If that really happened — and I will tell you frankly that I am very skeptical of that claim — it sounds like a clear-cut reversal.

    Davila admitted, on the stand, that he was the driver. So no, there has never been any question as to who was driving the van loaded with over 700 lbs. of pot, except in the mind of Sutton . . .

    I do not believe that Sutton is claiming there is a question. That is your distortion of his position. His position is that he had no proof of this usable in a trial against Davila. Like True Thurts, you are annoyingly obtuse in your failure to acknowledge how we know (at least according to Sutton) that Davila was driving the van — his statements given under a grant of immunity. Statements that he had absolutely no obligation to give absent a grant of immunity.

    You say that “Juarez testified that he saw Davila drive and ditch the van” but I don’t believe your unnamed and biased sources on that point without proof. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Juarez never got a good look at Davila and can’t ID him as the van driver. I can easily see Juarez testifying that he saw a man drive and ditch the van, Davila admitting that he was that man, and a spectator concluding that: “Juarez testified that he saw Davila drive and ditch the van.”

    Without a transcript or a reliable press report, I am inclined to discount the claims by your unnamed sources. Perhaps some of the claims are true. perhaps some others have a kernel of truth which has been distorted by misunderstandings, fueled in part by bias for the agents.

    But some of the claims — like the idea that Davila got significant benefits and this was hidden from the jury — well, they could be true, but they sure don’t ring true.

    Yet you’re swallowing it all whole.

    I’m not swallowing any of it whole.

    But you’re taking all the pro-agent propaganda as gospel, and I’m telling you that some of it, like immunity agreements being hidden from a jury, sounds very, very, very suspect.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  79. http://www.nbpc.net/ramos_compean/rebuttal_to_sutton.pdf

    Here is one of my un-names sources that just happens to have their name on it.

    Perhaps when Sutton finds that the time is right to have the transcripts released, we will learn who testified to what and what was withheld from the jury and what was released to the jury.

    Patterico, remember Hector Polanco? I knew he was dirty. Other cops knew he was dirty. No one I knew in the APD backed him, not the guys in Sex Crimes Dept., not the guys on the street, not the guys in Narcotics and not the guys in IA. Good cops don’t back bad cops. That is my point. There are too many good BP backing Ramos and Compean. Why did they not back the two BP that were caught acting as cayotes?

    You still did not answer my questions; how many times have you know a prosecutor to give out seven press releases during a trial? Why does Sutton say that he doesn’t know anything about an ongoing investigation of the seven other officers or Davila’s second bust?

    retire05 (663827)

  80. Here is one of my un-names sources that just happens to have their name on it.

    “Their” name?

    I don’t see the name of an author. I see a pro-agent group.

    I’d like to know the name of the person who is making the facially outrageous claim that the jury didn’t get to hear about a witness’s immunity agreement.

    I don’t follow how often prosecutors issue press releases during a trial. Do you have a linkto show that he released seven press released during the trial?

    I’ve watched you spit out unsourced allegations for days and I’ve decided to challenge you on it. I don’t know what happened in this case, but I don’t think you do either. I think some of what you’re repeating is rumor from biased sources.

    I would really like a source on the claim that the jury didn’t get to hear about the immunity agreement.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  81. True Thurts,

    I rescued two comments of yours from the spam filter. Sorry about that. Ask aphrael: it randomly happens sometimes. If a comment of yours doesn’t appear, e-mail me.

    Let me try to cut through this. You said:

    Sutton tries to make the case that it could not be proven that Aldrete was the suspect, yet he prosecuted the agents on the assumption that Aldrete was the suspect.

    He prosecuted the agents in part based on Aldrete’s admission that he had driven the van. That was given under a grant of immunity.

    So it’s really no mystery that they couldn’t prove the case before the statements were taken, but that they *could* tie him to the van once the statements were taken.

    What you present as some mysterious and suspicious conundrum is explain with perfect clarity by the fact sheet.

    Do you get it now?

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  82. In answer to #30:

    The “law” is in fact nothing more than DOJ guidelines. The final paragraph of the article bears this out. The real question is whether GWB is going to follow these guidelines and make the agents wait 12 years plus 5 before being exonerated.

    § 1.11 Advisory nature of regulations.

    The regulations contained in this part are advisory only and for the internal guidance of Department of Justice personnel. They create no enforceable rights in persons applying for executive clemency, nor do they restrict the authority granted to the President under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.

    Jay (659164)

  83. OK, Patterico, let me play devil’s advocate. Sutton claims that he only gave Davila “use” immunity? Can you prove that? Sutton claims he has no knowledge of any other drug bust involving Davila and has no knowledge of any ongoing investigation of the other seven agents. Can you prove that?
    The National Border Patrol Council claims that Sutton gave three other agents immunity in exchange for their testimony. Can you disprove that?
    The sword cuts both ways.

    You say you have watched me “spit” out unsourced allegations for days. Why so touchy? Was it the UT remark?
    You are basing your “allegations” on one thing; Sutton’s fact sheet.
    No, I do not know what happened that day. No, I do not have access to the trial transcripts. But neither do you, and to discredit my questions regarding this trial is absurd. Are we now not allowed to question the ethics and motives of prosecutors any more? Then why bother with having appelate courts? Just take the word of any prosecutor and be done with it. We could just eliminate all criminal defense attorneys while we are at it.
    And instead of trying to be insulting toward me, why don’t you just answer my questions?

    retire05 (663827)

  84. Do you get it now?

    Comment by Patterico — 1/21/2007 @ 10:41 am

    There was a “Who’s on first?” quality about that exchange.

    Sir[P, that is], I’m with you on this one. I knew what you meant.

    I’d think the ballistic ID of the bullet [if there is an ID] could tie the smuggler to the scene – without his admission, but it would appear the decision as to who would be prosecuted had already been made.

    CM Smith (6c6544)

  85. OK, Patterico, let me play devil’s advocate. Sutton claims that he only gave Davila “use” immunity? Can you prove that?

    No, but I can’t disprove it, and I’d be very surprised if he misrepresented it. Use immunity is the typical immunity given by prosecutors, and for one of them to flatly misrepresent the type of immunity given could get him into all sorts of trouble. It’s possible, but I’m guessing it didn’t happen.

    Sutton claims he has no knowledge of any other drug bust involving Davila and has no knowledge of any ongoing investigation of the other seven agents. Can you prove that?

    I had not heard that. Can you provide a link to either claim?

    I would not be shocked if other agents, who were aware of the shooting and/or the alleged attack on an agent by a suspect, are being investigated for failing to report it.

    I haven’t heard Sutton comment on that, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t. I haven’t heard him make a blanket denial that he has never heard of any other drug busy involving Davila — just (in the fact sheet) that he hasn’t been subsequently arrested for drugs.

    The National Border Patrol Council claims that Sutton gave three other agents immunity in exchange for their testimony. Can you disprove that?

    Nope. I haven’t heard him deny it, and would be willing to believe that.

    The sword cuts both ways.

    You say you have watched me “spit” out unsourced allegations for days. Why so touchy? Was it the UT remark?

    Heh. No, I’m not touchy about that at all. All in good fun.

    I probably was a bit harsh, but let me explain why. You have indeed been setting forth unsourced allegations for days here. I used the word “spit” because I am starting to get impatient with your apparent willingness to swallow any rumor, as long as it supports the agents’ position.

    You are basing your “allegations” on one thing; Sutton’s fact sheet.

    No, I do not know what happened that day. No, I do not have access to the trial transcripts. But neither do you, and to discredit my questions regarding this trial is absurd.

    Indeed I am, and I am being very careful to say that any conclusions are based on the assumption that the fact sheet is correct. Let me cite you just one caveat among many:

    The “fact sheet” is a list of alleged “myths,” compared to the reality as the U.S. Attorney describes it. I have no idea what the true facts are; I didn’t see the trial, and as I said, I know little about the case. Still, it makes for interesting reading alongside Saunders’s columns. If the U.S. Attorney’s facts are true, it does much to counter the impression left by Saunders’s columns.

    Contrast that with your repeatedly stating, as fact, allegations that are often based on sources you don’t specifically name, that in some cases don’t square at all with common sense. I don’t see caveats in your comments; you appear to swallow every pro-agent assertion whole.

    You also make a lot of assumptions and draw a lot of dark conclusions based on your assumptions.

    For example, you complain repeatedly that some Congressman can’t get a report. Do you know what the relevant rules are regarding dissemination of these reports? Do you know what the asserted reason it is that the Congressman can’t get the report? If you know the answers to these questions, you haven’t explained them. Instead, you appear to assume that the Congressman has the right to the report, and based on that assumption, you further conclude that it is being withheld for dark, mysterious reasons.

    You put quotes around “sick” and say that the prosecutor is “stonewalling” by claiming that the reporter is “sick.” Do you have any idea whether the reporter really is sick??

    So yes: I don’t know what happened and neither do you. But I don’t pretend to, and you do.

    Are we now not allowed to question the ethics and motives of prosecutors any more?

    I think that’s what you’ve been doing for days on this blog. You’ve been “allowed to” despite the thin and sometimes unbelievable nature of your allegations.

    Then why bother with having appelate courts? Just take the word of any prosecutor and be done with it. We could just eliminate all criminal defense attorneys while we are at it.

    As I’ve said, many of the issues raised will indeed be addressed by the appellate courts, and that is appropriate. What is not appropriate is jumping to the conclusion that we must pardon these guys, based on rumors and illogical arguments.

    And instead of trying to be insulting toward me, why don’t you just answer my questions?

    This is what I have tried to do.

    How about answering these for me:

    1) Why did these guys pick up their shells and lie about the shooting if they didn’t do anything wrong?

    2) Who is the source for the claim that the jury didn’t get to hear about Davila’s immunity agreement?

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  86. If Aldrete was given immunity for the marijuana in the van then it wasn’t a limited use immunity but rather a derivative use immunity, since the offense relating to the shooting was “resisting arrest” or “fleeing the scene”.

    If Aldrete confessed to murdering some people and burying them while on this little adventure, would he be immune from prosecution for those crimes also?

    The DOJ would have probably been required to authorize this. Maybe even Gonzalez himself.

    J Curtis (d21251)

  87. If Aldrete confessed to murdering some people and burying them while on this little adventure, would he be immune from prosecution for those crimes also?

    The buried assumption there is that he is immune from prosecution for the crime of smuggling the pot over the border.

    And, unless Sutton is lying, he’s not.

    It’s just that law enforcement is prohibited from using his statements against him in any such prosecution.

    And Sutton says the case could not otherwise be proved.

    Is he right? I have no idea. But that’s what he claims.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  88. Patterico, I don’t know why the shell casings were picked up. Is that part of the training? Are BP required to pick up their shell casings in shooting events?
    The source for Davila’s immunity not being introduced to the jury? Mr. Loya, the father-in-law. I will try to find a link for you.

    Perhaps I am wrong here. Perhaps these two guys are guilty as hell. Perhaps. But perhaps they have been railroaded as I suspect.
    We have to question the judicial system. That is our check/balance method. I would say as a whole, prosecutors are well thought of whereas defense attorneys are not. But we cannot assume that prosecutors are above corruption, political ambition or desire for notority. Nifong comes to mind.
    No, I do not pretend to know what happend that day, or for that matter what transpired in court. I only know what I read and that is no more or no less than what you base your opinion on. But for some reason, that method seems to make me wrong and you right. How does that work?
    I have repeatedly said that we will see what happened during trial once the transcripts are released.
    I would assume from your bio that you would lean toward accepting the word of a prosecutor before that of a defendant. So here is what I am willing to do.
    I will call Mike McCaul’s officer tomorrow and ask his aide point black what the report is that he wants and why he thinks he is entitled to it. I have also emailed a friend, a defense attorney who is an associate of Dick DeGuerin, and asked him to comment on the case. Hopefully, he will get back to me soon. I did ask him if Sutton would have been able to keep from the jury any immunity agreement that might have been made with Davila.
    I realize that you accept Sutton’s semantics on the facts.
    #1) that Ramos had not recieved any awards as Border Patrol Agent of The Year. While this is true, Sutton did not acknowledge that he had been nominated and the nomination was withdrawn when Ramos was arrested.
    #2) Davila had been arrested on a second drug running charge that involved 1,000 lbs. of pot:
    If Davila had been apprehended with a second load, but his immunity prevented arrest, and that apprehension had been expunged because of the immunity against prosecution, then yes, Sutton could say that Davila had not been “arrested” a second time.
    In the radio interview with Roger Hedgecock, Sutton states quite clearly that he is unaware of any ongoing investigation of seven other agents. Yet the BP union claims there is an investigation ongoing, and they would be aware of it because those agents would be eliglibe for union representation.
    #3) Sutton says that Ramos was not a model agent and had in fact been disciplined twice before. The Union states that those incidents were in arbitration when they were arrested. Arbitration would have stopped at that point until the outcome of the trial.

    Sutton say one thing; the Union, who is required by law to represent the agents, say another. Just because Mr. John Doe doesn’t sign the Union statement doesn’t mean that it did not come from a legitimate source.

    retire05 (663827)

  89. No, I do not pretend to know what happend that day, or for that matter what transpired in court. I only know what I read and that is no more or no less than what you base your opinion on. But for some reason, that method seems to make me wrong and you right. How does that work?

    No, I just think you’re a lot more apt than I am to accept, and repeat as fact, without caveat, dubious statements from biased sources. It helps that you’re admitting now that you don’t really know whether the things you’ve been asserting here are true.

    I would assume from your bio that you would lean toward accepting the word of a prosecutor before that of a defendant.

    I try to judge every case on its own facts. I will say that I have *personally* run into no lying prosecutors that I’m aware of, and plenty of lying defendants. But I am aware (by reading the newspaper, books, court decisions, and state bar ethics opinions, for example) that there are prosecutors who lie, just as there are people in any profession who lie, and I wouldn’t make definitive assumptions about any case based on someone’s profession alone.

    Prosecutors never get to keep immunity agreements from the jury. At least, if they do, the case will get reversed. Whoever told you that happened here, fed you horseshit, is my educated guess.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  90. Patterico, if you have taken my comments as being based in Biblical truth, that is your error, not mine. I have said, over and over again, that I was not there, either at the crime scene or the trial. No caveat needed. I am making my assumption from the very same material that you are using to make your assumption.
    You say you try to judge every case on it’s own facts. What facts would you be judging this case on beside Sutton’s fact sheet? That is not facts, it is spin. Just as you seem to think that the fact sheets from the opposing side are also, spin.
    So how can you judge this case on the facts when you do not have access to the transcripts?
    OK, those you want to call horseshit on would be Mr. Loya and the Border Patrol union. And they did not feed it to me, per se, they made public statements.
    But we shall see when the transcripts come out. And then either you can blow your horn telling me how right you were or you can apologize.
    Pretty simple, really.

    retire05 (663827)

  91. Patterico, if you have taken my comments as being based in Biblical truth, that is your error, not mine.

    I have never taken them as being based in Biblical truth. Misstating what I say is not a convincing argument. What I say is that you have repeatedly stated matters as fact when you don’t know them to be. I can cite you your first several comments or people can do back and look at them. They are full of assertions, made as fact, with no explanation whatsoever (until I challenged you) that you weren’t there and don’t actually know the facts.

    Because I have not done that, I have nothing to apologize for, regardless of how the trial transcripts look. As I learn more facts, I will revise my opinion as necessary, and will give the other side and try not to leap to conclusions — and to explain why I reach a particular conclusion when I do.

    If it turns out that the jury never heard about the immunity agreement, which I have said is possible though highly unlikely, I’ll almost certainly call for the case to be reversed.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  92. I can ask nothing more from you, Patterico. If the facts hold out that the immunity agreement was withheld from the jury, I will look for you call for reversal.

    retire05 (663827)

  93. Has there been no dispute about how the smuggler was wounded? Maybe he was wounded somewhere else (later) and decided to tie it to this confrontation. Could the medical people who treated him determine how old the wound was?

    Is it possible that the BP agents didn’t want to write a report because they’d fired many shots and missed every time? (I’m not being facetious)

    Ken (245846)

  94. Ken, I have questioned that as well. It was almost a month before Mr. Drug Runner had his mother contact Agent Rene Sanchez’s mother in law to say he had been wounded.
    It also seems to me that someone who had a bullet enter his left buttocks and lodged in his left thigh would have had a problem running back across the Rio Grande.
    The bullet fragment that was removed at a military medical facility was given to DHS Sanchez (not the same Sanchez) at which point the DHS officer took the fragment, along with Mr. Drug Runner, home with him. I do not know this to be a fact, but I have read that all DNA evidence had been removed from the bullet fragment by the handling by the DHS agent.

    Perhaps the transcripts will also answer this question.

    retire05 (663827)

  95. Some places are reporting that the shot guy is suing the feds for $5 million. People have lied for much less than that. How does that drugrunning biz work, anyway? You lose a 750lbs shipment, the next time they give you a 1000lbs shipment to deliver, which you also lose. How does the next conversation go?

    Wesson (c20d28)

  96. It would seem that Johnny Sutton doesn’t think that law enforcement officers have the right to enforce the law or protect themselves from being run over with a vehicle driven by an illegal cayote.
    http://www.freegilmer.com/articles.html

    retire05 (663827)

  97. Patterico, I told you that Michael McCaul (R-Tx) had been promised the investigative report from DHS on Ramos and Compean. I also told you that there were other officers who had been at the scene of the shooting (while not there at the time of the shooting) who, after almost two years, were still under investigation. Understandably, you questioned my comments.
    Please, take time to read Congressman McCaul’s letter which has been posted on the Border Patrol web site.
    http://www.nbpc.net/ramos_compean/mccaul_letter.pdf

    Also, I would like you to comment on the law that Ramos and Compean were prosecuted under. It is:
    18 U.S.C. Section 924(c)
    It is my understand of that law that it deals with the firing of a weapon in the act of committing a crime. It is also my understanding that it would apply to law enforcement officer, IF they were committing a crime such as robbery, rape, et al.
    How would this apply to law enforcement officer trying to PREVENT a crime.
    I think you will find that Congressman McCaul’s letter substantiates my claim that he was being denied not only the investigative report but was being stonewalled by both DHS and DOJ, as well.
    I would also like to you explain to me why, when there has been enough time to indict, try and convict Ramos and Compean, the other Border Patrol agents who were called to the scene are still under an uncomplete investigation.

    I look forward to your comments.

    retire05 (663827)


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