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Agents Get 12 Years for Shooting Fleeing Felons

Two border patrol agents were each sentenced to over ten years in prison for shooting a drug smuggler in the rump.  I'm trying to find out why they were ever prosecuted.  Should they have allowed the drug smuggler a "get out of jail free card," by allowing him to escape to Mexico - where he would likely have loaded additional cargo? 

I realize, of course, that it's unconstitutional to shoot a fleeing felon unless the officer can show that the felon posed an imminent danger to others.  Given that the drug smuggler was unarmed, he was a "non-shootable" fleeing felon.  Still, prosecutorial discretion should have cut against prosecuting these agents.

In light of all the serious civil rights violations that occur in this country, I'm perplexed that federal prosecutors chose to prosecute this case.  How are American's civil rights safer after this prosecution?  What good purpose did the prosecution serve? 

Won't the prosecution encourage other border patrol agents to error on the side of allowing drug dealers and other criminals to escape justice?  How is such a policy consistent with the border patrol agent's job - to protect and secure the American border from criminals?

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