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  #1  
Old 14 January 2007, 12:32 AM
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vfwchick vfwchick is offline
 
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Default Border Patrol guards sentenced?

I heard this at work today and can't find anything about any of it.
This lady said she had a phone number (but couldn't find it) to call and protest the sentencing of some border patrol soldiers who fired thier weapons at the Mexican Border. She said they didn't hit anyone and only the President could stop them from going to jail. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
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  #2  
Old 14 January 2007, 01:41 AM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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This is a big cause celebre on a local radio station.

The way they tell it: two Border Patrol Agents intercepted a guy who was smuggling marijuana. The guy ran, and the agents shot him. They hit him, but he got away across the border.

Their higher-ups determined that they were wrong in shooting him, and they were remanded for trial. The victim -- the illegal drug smuggler! -- was given immunity to come to the U.S. to testify against them. They were found guilty and sentenced.

A number of local politicians have asked Bush for a pardon, but none was issued.

So: you have your choice on how to take it: two good agents doing their duty a bit too zealously...or gun-happy border agents gone bad? In any case, it was the legal immunity for the smuggler that rankles in the minds of a lot of people.

Silas
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  #3  
Old 14 January 2007, 02:12 AM
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Thanks for the info. It rankles my mind too.
So this is what I have to look forward to if my son ever gets called to go there? He cannot shoot them but they can shoot him?
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  #4  
Old 14 January 2007, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfwchick View Post
Thanks for the info. It rankles my mind too.
So this is what I have to look forward to if my son ever gets called to go there?
Is your son in the Border Patrol?

Quote:
He cannot shoot them but they can shoot him?
Who are "they"? According to Silas' post, the drug dealer ran away, and was shot while doing so. He didn't shoot anybody.
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  #5  
Old 14 January 2007, 02:28 AM
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My son is in the National Guard.
They sometimes assist the border patrol when they are doing thier two weeks training in the summer.

General they. What I was thinking was that if he would have to go and found himself in a similar situation is this what he would have to worry about? Sorry it was unclear and worded poorly, lot's of distractions here at that moment. (namely a kitty)
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  #6  
Old 14 January 2007, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfwchick View Post
My son is in the National Guard.
They sometimes assist the border patrol when they are doing thier two weeks training in the summer.

General they. What I was thinking was that if he would have to go and found himself in a similar situation is this what he would have to worry about? Sorry it was unclear and worded poorly, lot's of distractions here at that moment. (namely a kitty)
Yes, kitties are very distracting.

I'm afraid situations like these exist in every law enforcement situation. Best of luck to your son. I hope he stays safe.
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  #7  
Old 14 January 2007, 02:51 AM
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vfwchick vfwchick is offline
 
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You know, you are right. And if he wants to continue on a law enforcement path then he needs to figure out how to handle any situation for himself. I need to quit worrying.
Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 14 January 2007, 03:16 AM
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While shooting at retreating adversaries, even wounded ones, is an acceptable and common tactic in the military, it is not one so acceptable for law enforcement.

While the border patrol on the US/Mexican border often deals with armed smugglers and drug dealers, I would guess that most of their concern is illegal immigrants. These are often unarmed, and include minors. Illegal immigration is, in some people's opinion, a serious crime, but only the most seriously disturbed would consider it "acceptable" to shoot at people smuggling their children across the border.

These people made a mistake. They did the wrong thing. Their "heart" may have been in the right place, but it takes a certain kind of person to do this kind of job. It seems that these people where not.
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Old 15 January 2007, 07:26 PM
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Part of the problem was that the border guards apparently cleaned up the scene and tried to make it appear they had not shot at any one.
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  #10  
Old 15 January 2007, 08:17 PM
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News Story here. There are many links there to read to see the story unfold.
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  #11  
Old 15 January 2007, 08:39 PM
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This seems (in my humble opinion) to be a case of two wrongs not making a right. First off, I basing my reply on one (and only 1) source of information (the linked news article, Thanks Vanilla!).

The BP agents failed to follow guidleines and policies (failed to get supervisor approval, failed to report shooting). They are wrong.
Based on their story, any reasonable person would have returned fire. I think they should have been subject to disciplinary action (suspension, demotion, terminantion, etc.) but I feel criminal punishment is a bit much.

Granting the (suspect) guy immunity is foolish. I won't even start on granting a suspect criminal immunity to prosecute law enforcement (other criminals, maybe..not Lawmen).
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  #12  
Old 16 January 2007, 05:22 PM
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I just this morning heard about this case on the radio. They said that Pres B did review and found they had a fair trial. No pardon.
How they can say that when they have jurors from the case saying they were tricked into voting guilty, I don't know.
(see vanillas link to read what the jurors said)
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  #13  
Old 16 January 2007, 05:33 PM
DaGuyWitBluGlasses DaGuyWitBluGlasses is offline
 
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Btw,
Once the prosecution proves that the events happened, and it was these guards who were involved.

Burden of proof is now shifted to the defendant when the argument of "compulsion" comes up, if they used more force than necessary to prevent the crime, (or the force exceeds the seriousness of the crime they were trying to prevent) then they commited a criminal act not much different than for example, shooting someone because they stole a one dollar bill from you.

Not to mention that the very nature of someone fleeing is suggestive that the crime has ceased, i.e. the force has already been applied.

It's clearly attemptive murder, and i'm certain if this were the northern border there wouldn't have been any request to pardon the guards.
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  #14  
Old 16 January 2007, 05:50 PM
methuselah
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepfrydegg View Post
Granting the (suspect) guy immunity is foolish. I won't even start on granting a suspect criminal immunity to prosecute law enforcement (other criminals, maybe..not Lawmen).
When a "Lawman" breaks the law, he ceases to be a Lawman and becomes a criminal suspect.
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  #15  
Old 16 January 2007, 05:56 PM
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Now I understand why my co-workers have been going crazy about a set of border guards.
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  #16  
Old 16 January 2007, 07:48 PM
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Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfwchick View Post
How they can say that when they have jurors from the case saying they were tricked into voting guilty, I don't know.
The problem is that courts work under strict rules of evidence...and talk radio does not. Now that the jurors are out of sequestration, and have heard things they were insulated from -- rumors, guesses, suppositions, extraneous facts, and no few outright lies -- they may very well have changed their minds. But they are no longer impartial jurors; they have been taken up into the "media frenzy" and have become tainted by it.

This, by the way, doesn't mean they are necessarily incorrect. It only means that they have now heard things which jurors may not hear, under the rules of our justice system. A lot of people would like to see these rules changed.

Silas
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  #17  
Old 16 January 2007, 08:16 PM
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Four Kitties Four Kitties is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepfrydegg View Post
Granting the (suspect) guy immunity is foolish. I won't even start on granting a suspect criminal immunity to prosecute law enforcement (other criminals, maybe..not Lawmen).
Why? Should not the enforcers of the law be held to the same standard as everyone else?

IMHO they should be held to an even higher standard -- they can't plead ignorance of the law as mitigation.

Four Kitties
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  #18  
Old 16 January 2007, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Kitties View Post
Why? Should not the enforcers of the law be held to the same standard as everyone else?

IMHO they should be held to an even higher standard -- they can't plead ignorance of the law as mitigation.

Four Kitties
Ignorance of law is neither defence nor mitigation (at least not in Scotland).
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  #19  
Old 16 January 2007, 09:55 PM
DaGuyWitBluGlasses DaGuyWitBluGlasses is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
Ignorance of law is neither defence nor mitigation (at least not in Scotland).
Actually, it is mitigation just about every similar justice system as it can demonstrate the rehability of the client.
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  #20  
Old 16 January 2007, 10:16 PM
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Four Kitties Four Kitties is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
Ignorance of law is neither defence nor mitigation (at least not in Scotland).
We have a saying over on this side of the pond: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." If you broke the law, you broke the law, even if you didn't know it.

What ignorance may mitigate, however, is sentencing -- that's up to the sentencing authority (be it the jury, judge, or whomever). I should have been more clear -- since these men were law enforcement officers, they could not plead ignorance in mitigation of their sentences.

Four Kitties
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