Monday, July 23, 2007

Ramos & Compean--Now Worth Watching

The Ramos/Compean case has become a cause celebre with a number of people, including both a very conservative Repulican congressman and a very liberal Democratic Senator.

In brief, Ramos and Compean were US Border Patrol agents who encountered a drug dealer. They pursued him. The drug dealer was shot by one of the agents, but escaped into Mexico.
The agents were later prosecuted by the US Attorney because they had wounded the drug dealer; and the agents were found guilty. They are now in prison.

So what's the big deal?

At least part of "the big deal" is this: while typical accounts of the incident state that Aldrete-Davila (the drug dealer) was "hit in the back" (actually, left butt-cheek) while fleeing, that's not an accurate statement.

He was hit on the left SIDE of the left butt-cheek.

Big difference. Firing into someone's back is morally unacceptable. On the other hand, firing into one's side? The morality (and the legality) now depends on the rest of the 'facts and circumstances'.

The now-imprisoned Border Patrol agents state that the drug-dealer would occasionally turn towards them, firing a weapon. The drug dealer is left-handed.

There is lots more to the story, and there are Congressional hearings going on. Now it's worth watching the events.

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