Bush pardons two people on last day in office

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Bush pardons two people on last day in office

Outgoing US president George W. Bush, in a final act of clemency, commuted the prison sentences of two US border patrol agents but steered clear of any high-profile pardons for former vice presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby and others.

Bush commuted the 11-year prison sentence of Ignacio Ramos and the 12-year sentence of Jose Alonso Compean, who were tried for shooting an unarmed Mexican drug smuggler in the buttocks in a case in Texas that drew widespread attention.

Their 2006 conviction drew an outcry from supporters who said the agents had been treated too harshly and were just doing their job. Under the commutation, their prison sentences will expire on March 20.

"He [Mr Bush] believes that the length of the sentence and the conditions of their confinement were too harsh, they suffered enough for their crimes," a White House official said on condition of anonymity.

"He does believe that both men received a fair trial and a just verdict," the official said.

This was expected to be Bush's last act of clemency before his presidency ends at noon (1700 GMT) on Tuesday when Barack Obama takes office.

The two commutations were in marked contrast to predecessor Bill Clinton, who issued a flurry of 140 pardons on his last day as president.

- news sources.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Correction re thread title: Bush didn't actually pardon the two men. He commuted their sentences. Their convictions will stand.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 Only two? 

 I'm actually quite surprised that he didn't pardon Libby.  Interesting.  

Refuge Refuge's picture

He must understand - people in power who are a pain in the butt for others.Wink

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Libby got the same treatment as the two border patrol agents: Back in July, 2007 Bush commuted his sentence from 30 months in prison plus a $250,000 fine to just the fine, so Scooter didn't have to spend a day in jail.

He does have a criminal record, however.