George W. Bush celebrated Martin Luther King Day by commuting the sentences of two Federal agents who seriously wounded* a Mexican. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean shot up unarmed illegal immigrant Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila as he fled, and then conspired to cover up their crime. They were caught anyway and sentenced to hefty prison terms. Conservatives are normally in favor of keeping violent offenders in prison forever, but sympathetic toward Ramos and Compean because they shot an illegal immigrant, and have been hoping since the two were first convicted for clemency, which Bush delivered in the waning hours of his awful Presidency. On Tuesday night, we are told, Michelle Obama will tour the rooms of the White House with a smudge stick.
(*Note: Item edited to correct “pardon” to “commutation,” and “killed” to “seriously wounded.”)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 19, 2009
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