Former Houston Prosecutor's Most Famous Case Gets Thrown Out By Bush

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The right-wing got the gift it had been howling for -- today President Bush commuted the sentences of two Border Patrol agents who shot an illegal alien and then tried to cover up the incident.

Conservatives have made the case a cause celebre for years, saying the agents had been railroaded.

Not everyone knows, though, is that the guy who prosecuted the case has strong Houston ties, and was known as someone far more likely to piss off liberals than conservatives.

Johnny Sutton was a prosecutor in the Harris County DAs office for eight years until 1995, and conservatives had no trouble with anything he did.

In fact, Bush cited Sutton's involvement when critics brought up the case, calling him "a dear friend of mine from Texas."

Sutton defended himself to the right, as in a long Q&A with the author of Obamanation for World Net Daily:

I would much prefer to be here discussing the prosecution of the drug dealer, Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, and how we put him in prison for 20 years. But, unfortunately, we had no case against him, because there was no evidence tying him to that van.

The two agents who should have been investigating the case instead of covering up the crime scene told us at the scene that they couldn't identify him. The agents put us in a situation where there was no way to prove in a court that Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was connected to that load of marijuana. We would not even know about him had he not come and the investigators for Homeland Security been able to find him through his family.

My bottom line is that it is the outrageous behavior of Ramos and Compean that got us here. They were not doing their jobs.

They committed a number of very serious crimes. All that evidence that was presented to a jury of their peers in El Paso that was willing to give these two Border Patrol agents the benefit of a doubt. El Paso is a town that is very much a Border Patrol town. Border Patrol is loved and admired in El Paso. The huge presence of Border Patrol in El Paso has made it one of the safest cities in the United States, due to their presence there.

But Houston wasn't buying it. When Sutton came back to town for a speech a year ago at the South Texas College of Law, he was greeted by protestors and this sign, according to the Lone Star Times:

Is that anyway to greet a former "hanging prosecutior," Houston?

-- Richard Connelly

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