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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Canseco urges Prez to grant clemency to agents

Quico Canseco (photo)
Republican Congressional candidate

Republican Congressional Candidate joins US Senators Cornyn and Feinstein in asking President to commute sentences

San Antonio, Texas —Today, Republican congressional candidate Quico Canseco announced that he has written a letter to the President of the United State urging him to grant clemency to former United States Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. Mr. Canseco, who is campaigning for congress in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, took the opportunity to deliver the letter to the White House while he was in Washington visiting with the National Republican Congressional Committee and members of Congress.

Canseco said his letter was in support of the efforts of United States Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Diane Feinstein (D-California) both of whom have strongly urged President George Bush to grant clemency and reduce the prison sentence of the two border patrol agents, both of whom were assigned to Texas ’ El Paso sector.

Ramos and Compean began serving federal prison sentences of 11 and 12 years, respectively, six months ago after being convicted of violating the civil rights of a drug smuggler they shot in the buttocks while trying to arrest him near Fabens, Texas in 2005. The drug dealer was driving a van with 742 pounds of marijuana. He was shot as he was attempting to flee back into Mexico after being approached by Ramos and Compean. He was allegedly brandishing what the agents believed to be a weapon. The Mexican drug dealer was later granted immunity for his crimes in exchange for his testimony against the border agents.

In the letter to the President, Canseco wrote: “I grew up on the border and I have been traveling up and down this district for months meeting with people in border communities all across Texas [The 23rd Congressional District consists of over 700 miles of the US Mexican border and is the largest border congressional in the US ]. The overwhelming consensus is that these two men do not deserve the sentences they were given.”

“Across all political spectrums and regardless of their stance on the illegal immigration issue, the citizens of South Texas have enormous respect for the Border Patrol. They understand the very real dangers that these agents face because they live and work with them in the same communities. To give immunity to a drug dealer in order to prosecute these two agents is frankly offensive to me and to many of the people I speak with,” Canseco added.

In a final excerpt Mr. Canseco writes, “As an attorney I also have several questions about the prosecution of these agents. The federal prosecutors purposely chose to file charges that would result in long mandatory sentences. While these men may very well have acted improperly when following procedures after the shooting, certainly this does not warrant sentencing these men to over a decade in prison. I hope you [President Bush] will do the right thing and commute these sentences immediately.

Senators John Cornyn and Diane Feinstein sent their letter July 18th after a series of hearings before their Judiciary committee. Mr. Canseco’s letter was sent July 23rd.

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