On his final full day in office, President Bush issued commutations for two former U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted in 2006 of shooting and wounding an unarmed illegal immigrant -- suspected of drug smuggling at the time -- and then covering it up.
The prison sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean will now end March 20.
Ramos had received an 11-year prison sentence; Compean had received a 12-year term. They began serving their sentences in January 2007.
The Office of the Pardon Attorney was still reviewing the clemency request when Bush made his decision, Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said.
"The president has reviewed the circumstances of this case as a whole and the conditions of confinement and believes the sentences they received are too harsh and that they, and their families, have suffered enough for their crimes," a senior administration official said.
"Commuting their sentences does not diminish the seriousness of their crimes. Ramos and Compean are convicted felons who violated their oaths to uphold the law and have been severely punished," the official stated.
"This commutation gives them an opportunity to return to their families and communities, but both men will have to carry the burden of being convicted felons and the shame of violating their oaths for the rest of their lives."
Good job by the President. Funny that despite many liberals predictions that he would, the President still hasn't commuted the sentence of or pardoned "Scooter" Libby.