With 189 Pardons and 11 commutations under his belt Bush has granted lessening sentences to the two border patrollers who in 2005 hid the shooting of admitted drug dealer, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the buttocks as he was running across the Rio Grande from a van loaded with marijuana.
The officers were convicted with 1.) Assault with a dangerous weapon and 2.) With serious bodily injury, 3.) Violation of civil rights and 4.) Obstruction of justice. The first three charges were upheld on appeal. The obstruction charge was never refuted. However covering up the evidence and lying about the shooting was really what was in question. Their arrests caused a huge media debate over immigration laws and border patrol. Ignacio Ramos’s and Jose Compean’s sentences have now been commuted by Bush to two more months. Clemency was being requested from Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders for months after the convictions, saying the court didn’t take into consideration that they were following orders and simply doing their jobs.
Meantime the pardoning of I. Lewis Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, is still a wait and see. Bush’s executive commutes end at noon of Tuesday, January 20th. The real question remains, why didn’t Bush do these three years ago?