The head of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee is calling on President Bush to commute the prison sentences of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted for shooting a fleeing drug suspect in Texas.
Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Bill Delahunt called the sentences a "miscarriage of justice," The Washington Times reported Friday. Delahunt is chairman of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight.
Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were sentenced to 11- and 12-year sentences, respectively, last year for shooting Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila in February 2005. The defendants, who also were convicted of obstruction of justice for trying to hide the evidence, testified they thought Aldrete-Davila had a weapon as he fled on foot to Mexico from a marijuana-filled van. Aldrete-Davila survived but was arrested last month on various drug charges.
Delahunt said in a resolution Thursday that the agents' sentences were "profoundly disproportionate," the Times reported.
"It's outrageous that these men should be serving more time than killers and rapists," he said.
"They were law-enforcement officers; of course, they carry firearms. To hit them with a gun charge carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years is harsh and unnecessary."
The White House had no comment on Delahunt's request to commute the sentences.