Border Patrol Shooting Trial Transcripts Available
The trial transcripts in the Ramos/Compean case are available, here.
Thanks to commenter EricPWJohnson for the heads up.
I will have brief commentary in an update.
UPDATE: The transcripts do answer one question that was the source of debate between me and a pro-agent commenter calling himself retire05. retire05 had said “you have a jury that is not allowed to hear that immunity was given to Davila . . .”
I was highly skeptical and asked 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.
Why would the Union claim that the deal cut with Davila was “sealed” if it were not?
I will point out that in Volume VII, the very first question asked of the alleged drug smuggler by the defense attorney is about the immunity agreement:
12 Q. Mr. Aldrete, my name is Mary Stillinger. I represent
13 Ignacio Ramos. I would like to ask you first, you’re
14 testifying here under a grant of immunity. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
And indeed, the discussion of immunity goes on for pages. And a quick glance through some of the volumes of the transcripts shows that the issue of immunity came up time and time again in front of the jury.
Now, glancing through this section, I will offer this tidbit to the pro-agent crowd. There is a long discussion of the nature of the immunity agreement — use? transactional? a “weird hybrid”? — and it appears to culminate in this exchange:
8 MS. STILLINGER: I understand Ms. Kanof to be saying
9 that the hybrid is he’s getting transactional immunity, but
10 only for those events that he discloses. So if it turns out he
11 murdered somebody on that day, he doesn’t have immunity for
12 that. But he does have transactional immunity for every event
13 he told them about.
14 MS. KANOF: As long as he tells the truth. As long as
15 he tells the truth.
That ain’t what Jeffrey Sutton said! What he did say was this:
Prosecutors promised Aldrete that they would not use his truthful statements and testimony to prosecute him for the events that occurred on Feb. 17, 2005. . . . This type of “use immunity” does not give blanket immunity for any crimes he may have committed or may commit in the future. If there were other admissible evidence besides his own statements sufficient to convict him, he could be prosecuted for the offense he describes.
Unless another portion of the transcript cuts back on what I quoted above, this is simply inaccurate.
There are some disturbing questions swirling around this case — and I say that as someone who said, initially, that if what the U.S. Attorney said in his fact sheet is true, then the agents were properly convicted.
But it appears that at least part of his fact sheet was wrong. The accuracy of the rest of it remains to be seen.
I have a feeling that the transcripts should be a gold mine of information, for anyone with patience and interest — and who lacks an agenda. And speaking of those qualities . . .
DRJ? If you want to go through the transcripts and post summaries and/or commentary, I will set up an account for you, and you can put up as many posts as you like.
I would really love that.
What do you say?