U.S. v. Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean Amicus Brief for Congressman Walter Jones, et al. 18 U.S.C. section 924(c)

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Today we filed a Brief Amicus Curiae in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit supporting the appeal of Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean.  Counts four and five of the indictment charge the two with “Discharge of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence,” under 18 U.S.C. section 924(c), which the Supreme Court has ruled is only a sentencing factor, not one of the three elements — “using,” “carrying,” or “possessing” a firearm.  See Harris v. United States, 536 U.S. 545 (2002).

Thus, the amicus brief asks the court to overturn the convictions of Ramos and Compean in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, on the ground that these two Border Patrol agents were each sentenced to 10 years in prison for committing a federal crime which does not exist.

The amicus brief was filed on behalf of Congressman Walter B. Jones, Congressman Virgil H. Goode, Jr., Congressman Ted Poe, Gun Owners Foundation, U.S. Border Control, U.S. Border Control Foundation, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Link to brief