Monday, January 19, 2009

Bush commutes sentences of 2 Border Patrols - Finally, after 8 years, W did something that I approved of...

I am sure a lot of my liberal friends are going to treat me like a traitor for saying this, but I am glad that the two men, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, will be out of jail in March, without having to serve the 11-year and 12-year sentences that they were given. There are already a lot of outcry and celebration in the blogsphere: On the Huffington Post, most of the comments expressed outrage at this "anti-immigrant" gesture, and conversely, on the "white supremacy" or self-proclaimed "red-state-leaning" oriented blogs (I am not going to provide links here, just google on your own and you will see...) , this act was celebrated as confirmation that white people won.  Eh, first of all, I believe that Mr. Ramos is not white...
I heard of this story last year when my husband got a hold of the wonderful book series "The Best American Writing" for the year 2008 (which by the way is a series worth looking forward to every year, making Christmas all the much better for grown-ups!), and inside The Best American Crime Reporting 2008 , is an extensively researched and well-written article by Pamela Colloff, published in the September 2007 issue of Texas Monthly.  Here is the reprint found on the US Attorney website.  Read this before you make any judgement! 
It is hard not to feel bad for the two men once finishing reading the entire article.  The point, in my mind, is not whether they have shot an unarmed-man while he was running away, in the dark, but rather, the fairness in the sentencing of the two men for longer than a decade on the excuse of their violating bureaucratic procedures.  Anybody that is arguing the merit (or demerit) of the commutation of sentence from the perspective of immigration, whether pro- or anti-, is not looking at this issue rationally. 
And how many people that are now outraged simply by the sensational headlines or out-of-context comments such as the one posted on by Alex Koppelman:  
"Bush commutes sentences of former Border Patrol agents - Anti-immigration forces won a partial victory Monday, as President Bush commuted the prison sentences of two of their heroes..." 
Alex Koppelman published a long article on in January 2007 on this case as well which I was not aware of until just now.  He has a completely different take on this case: as a deliberate cover-up by the right wing and a transformation of criminals into folk heroes.  Guess I need to withhold my own judgement now too before I can make up my mind on this... 
Why is life so complicated? 

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