Sunday, April 6, 2008

Congressmen renew lobbying efforts for Ramos and Compean

Two California congressmen have renewed their efforts to improve conditions for two jailed border patrol agents, urging the Bureau of Prisons to move Ignacio Ramos, 37, and Jose Alonso Compean, 28, to a minimum security facility.

'If agents Ramos and Compean must continue serving their sentences, then they should be moved to a minimum security facility where they will not be threatened and under such restrictive conditions,' stated Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.).

Compean receiving a 12-year sentence and Ramos an 11-year sentence after they were convicted of assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations against a drug dealer who was retreating across the border.

'After 14 months of enduring the harsh conditions of solitary confinement, Director Lappin should do the right thing and exercise his authority to move the agents into more humane conditions,' stated Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).'They are effectively serving a double sentence for an unjust conviction that may very well be overturned.'

Because of security threats from Hispanic inmates imprisoned with them, Compean and Ramos were segregated from the general prison population and must remain in their cells for 23 hours a day. They are not afforded basic privileges other prisoners enjoy, such as telephone use, daily showers and television access.

The congressmen noted that Harley Lappin, Bureau of Prisons director for the federal government, has visited the Phoenix facility currently housing the two agents. 'I have asked Director Lappin to review the status of agent Ramos and consider his transfer,' Hunter said. 'He assured me that he would personally meet with agent Ramos and review his situation, as well as the events that led to his incarceration.‘