MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE
by Michael Cutler
As you know, I generally provide a commentary on one newspaper report or other such news source. Today I have decided to provide you with two, both of which recently ran in the Washington Times because they cover the same story and together they paint an extremely clear picture. The issue to be considered here is the prosecution of two valiant Border Patrol agents by a prosecutor whose motivation has to be questioned.
I have written a number of previous commentaries about U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean and today I want you to consider the contents of these two news reports concerning two recent events in this case. First of all, I have provided you with an article that shows that there are both Democrat and Republican members of the House of Representatives who have publicly called for the issuance of a Presidential pardon in this case that Congressman Delahunt, the chairman of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, refers to as a "Miscarriage of justice."
Segments of the first Washingon Times article make it clear that Representative Delahunt, a Democrat and Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican as well as other members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle are convinced that justice was not served by the prosecution of Agents Ramos and Compean.
Meanwhile, the second Washinton Times article focuses on the statement by Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor who was behind the egregious prosecution of these law enforcement officers. He was quoted in the article as having stated:
In January, Mr. Sutton told The Washington Times that the "punishment was high" but the sentences were mandated by Congress.
"Reasonable people can certainly argue that the time the agents received was too much, but that is an issue that needs to be taken up with those in Congress who set the sentencing guidelines," he said. "My job is to uphold the law. It's someone else's responsibility to determine if it needs to be changed."
What is utterly amazing is the fact that Sutton is seemingly refusing to take any responsibility for the prosecution of the agents. He reminds me of a child who learns to use the passive voice to describe how a toy may have gotten broken but does not want to admit his own responsibility. Awhile ago there was a comedian by the name of Flip Wilson whose tag line was, "The Devil made me do it!"
In point of fact, prosecutors have a tool at their disposal known as "prosecutorial discretion." An excellent example of such discretion can be seen in decision by federal prosecutors to decide that illegal aliens need to enter the United States numerous times before they will prosecute them for reentry after deportation, a federal felony. In New York, many years ago, even when an alien had a criminal conviction and had been previously deported from the United States, generally, unless the felony for which the alien had been convicted involved violence, such aliens were seldom prosecuted for reentry after deportation even though the law concerning that crime made no mention of any requirement that the alien had been previously deported a number of times. For him to say that, "My job is uphold the law. It's someone else's responsibility to determine if it needs to be changed" is utterly wrong. The ball was entirely in Mr. Sutton's court. If the responsibility lies with someone else, I want to know with whom. Was he following his own beliefs or was he ordered to do this by someone, for example, at the White House?
It is also essential to know that the prosecutor failed to provide the jury with vital information concerning the credibility of the drug smuggler, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila who had been subsequently arrested for smuggling another load of drugs across our nation's border.
The administration is quick to talk about arrests being down along the Mexican border as evidence that the border is under control. My personal concern is that other Border Patrol agents have been intimidated by this case and others like it. I am also concerned about how the Border Patrol will be able to recruit qualified candidates to do the dangerous vital work that comprises the mission of the Border Patrol given how these agents have been treated and wrongly prosecuted.
I believe that Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of the three judges who are considering the appeals filed on behalf of the two agents understated the situation when he said:
"For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me," said Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of the three judges hearing an appeal by the agents before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. "It does seem to me that the government overreacted here."
the People have every right to know the answers to the disturbing
questions that the malicious prosecution of these two federal agents
© 2007 - Michael Cutler
- All Rights Reserved
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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.
He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.
Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.
What is utterly amazing is the fact that Sutton is seemingly refusing to take any responsibility for the prosecution of the agents.