Pubdate: Sat, 16 Sep 2006
Source: Winston-Salem Journal (NC)
Copyright: 2006 Piedmont Publishing Co. Inc.
Author: Mary M. Shaffrey
Note: The Journal does not publish LTEs from writers outside its 
circulation area


Both say that two West Texas agents facing jail time got a raw deal 
from government Congress is filled with polar opposites. When it 
comes to politics, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th and Sen. Dianne 
Feinstein, D-Calif., are about as close to opposites as one might find.

Foxx, 63, is a staunch conservative. When it comes to immigration, 
she favors border security first. As far as she is concerned, that's 
the only place to start, and she does not entertain other 
alternatives. Feinstein, 73, is a liberal Democrat. She supports a 
pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. 
She has been outspoken in support of a bill passed by the Senate 
earlier this year that does that, a plan Foxx calls "amnesty."

The women, who represent very different parts of the country, agree 
on one thing - two former border agents in western Texas were given a 
raw deal by the government.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean were accused of shooting 
admitted drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the buttocks and 
then trying to cover it up. Davila, a Mexican national, was in 
possession of about 700 pounds of marijuana at the time.

Ramos and Compean were convicted in March of assault with a deadly 
weapon, obstruction of justice, a civil-rights violation and other 
felonies. They were both acquitted of assault with attempt to commit 
murder. They are to be sentenced next month and could face more than 
20 years in prison. Last week, Foxx called on congressional 
committees and the Justice Department to investigate. "I want to see 
a very thorough and objective study on this and for all the facts to 
come through," Foxx said. She said she does not understand how agents 
who stopped a drug smuggler at the border could be facing jail time.

Feinstein has similar thoughts. She has asked Attorney General 
Alberto Gonzales to look into the matter. In a letter to the chairman 
of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., she 
said she had "significant concerns that there may have been a serious 
miscarriage of justice." She asked Specter to hold hearings.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-3rd., has also gotten involved. He has written 
the White House and Gonzales. So far, he said, he has heard nothing. 
Jones said he doesn't see it as a partisan issue and believes that 
the executive branch must deal with it.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, the man who prosecuted Ramos and 
Compean, is not worried about an investigation into the case. "These 
guys shot an unarmed suspect as he was running away. Then they lied 
about it and destroyed evidence," he told the Dallas Morning News.
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