Supreme Court Says It's OK For Border Patrol Agents To Kill Mexican Citizens As Long As They Die In Mexico

from the precedent-controls-bullets-right-up-until-they-cross-an-imaginary-line dept

Border Patrol agents kill a lot of people, most of them citizens of another country. For years, agents have been able to open fire on people in moving vehicles and [checks Congressional report] people throwing rocks at them. New guidelines were handed down by the agency in 2014 following an outside investigation of the Border Patrol’s use of force. The investigation contained many recommendations that could have resulted in fewer killings, but the Border Patrol rejected the conclusions and the suggested fixes.

So, the killings continue. And not much is being done to stop them. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stripped qualified immunity from a Border Patrol agent who fired at leaast 16 bullets across the border at a 16-year-old resident who was allegedly throwing rocks at him. Ten of them hit the teen, killing him. The court ruled this was basically murder, something clearly not covered by qualified immunity. The Fourth Amendment governs what US government employees do. It makes no difference that the victim was not a US citizen.

That finding is likely to be struck down if it makes its way to the Supreme Court. A similar case involving the killing of Mexican resident by a Border Patrol agent standing on US soil has just received the Supreme Court stamp of approval.

Fifteen-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca was shot and killed by Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa, Jr. as he played with friends in a culvert along the US-Mexico border. According to Hernandez’s survivors, he and his friends were running back and forth across the culvert to touch the US border fence before running back to the Mexican side of the culvert. Agent Mesa claimed the teen was “involved in an illegal border crossing attempt” and “pelting” him with rocks.

The shooting resulted in an international incident. The Mexican government wanted the agent extradited to face murder charges in Mexico, the country where the murder occurred, even if the bullets originated on the US side of the border. The US government, on the other hand, decided Agent Mesa had done nothing wrong – that his deadly actions were clearly justified by the presence of rocks and/or border-crossing attempts.

Hernandez’s parents sued. The Fifth Circuit took two swings at the case (once at the Supreme Court’s request) and both times refused to extend the scope of Bivens to cover an incident where a government agent on the US side of the border shot and killed someone on the other side.

The Supreme Court likewise has refused to read Bivens as supporting a lawsuit against US government employees on behalf of a citizen of a foreign country. The Supreme Court believes doing so would upset the delicate balance currently preserved by Mexican outrage and US government indifference. From the ruling [PDF]:

Both the United States and Mexico have legitimate and important interests that may be affected by the way in which this matter is handled. The United States has an interest in ensuring that agents assigned the difficult and important task of policing the border are held to standards and judged by procedures that satisfy United States law and do not undermine the agents’ effectiveness and morale. Mexico has an interest in exercising sovereignty over its territory and in protecting and obtaining justice for its nationals. It is not our task to arbitrate between them.

This sounds positively Solomonic until you read the next paragraph of the ruling, along with some context that isn’t discussed in the ruling.

In the absence of judicial intervention, the United States and Mexico would attempt to reconcile their interests through diplomacy––and that has occurred. The broad issue of violence along the border, the occurrence of cross-border shootings, and this particular matter have been addressed through diplomatic channels. In 2014, Mexico and the United States established a joint Border Violence Prevention Council, and the two countries have addressed cross-border shootings through the United States-Mexico bilateral Human Rights Dialogue. Following the Justice Department investigation in the present case, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to “work with the Mexican government within existing mechanisms and agreements to prevent future incidents.”

That 2014 date is key. That’s the same year the Border Patrol was given new use-of-force guidelines while simultaneously rejecting the findings of an outside investigation that said agents used their weapons far too often in situations that either didn’t require deadly force (rock throwing) or created new dangers (shooting at moving vehicles). The US government also cleared Agent Mesa of any wrongdoing, which suggests it has zero desire to hold its own people accountable for extrajudicial killings of foreign citizens — something that can be easily accomplished by firing bullets from the US side of the border into Mexico.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court recommends trying not to get shot on the wrong side of the border.

Congress has repeatedly declined to authorize the award of damages against federal officials for injury inflicted outside U. S. borders. For example, recovery under 42 U. S. C. §1983 is available only to “citizen[s] of the United States or other person[s] within the jurisdiction thereof.” The Federal Tort Claims Act bars “[a]ny claim arising in a foreign country.” 28 U. S. C. §2680(k). And the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, note following 28 U. S. C. §1350, cannot be used by an alien to sue a United States officer. When Congress has provided compensation for injuries suffered by aliens outside the United States, it has done so by empowering Executive Branch officials to make payments under circumstances found to be appropriate. See, e.g., Foreign Claims Act, 10 U. S. C. §2734. Congress’s decision not to allow suit in these contexts further indicates that the Judiciary should not create a cause of action that extends across U. S. borders either.

The 5-4 majority says too much is at stake in terms of border security and international relations to come to any other conclusion. Since it’s not going to legislate from the bench, US government employees can kill people in other countries without fear of being held personally responsible for their rights violations until Congress steps in — something it’s obviously in no hurry to do.

The concurrence, written by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, is mainly annoyed the Court wasted time discussing a Congressionally-created escape hatch for federal officers and suggests tossing the Bivens doctrine altogether, further limiting lawsuits brought against federal officers/agents for Constitutional violations.

The dissent, however, points out this isn’t an extension of Bivens across the border. While Hernandez may have died in Mexico, the bullets were fired by an officer on United States soil.

Rogue U. S. officer conduct falls within a familiar, not a “new,” Bivens setting. Even if the setting could be characterized as “new,” plaintiffs lack recourse to alternative remedies, and no “special factors” counsel against a Bivens remedy. Neither U. S. foreign policy nor national security is in fact endangered by the litigation. Moreover, concerns attending the application of our law to conduct occurring abroad are not involved, for plaintiffs seek the application of U. S. law to conduct occurring inside our borders.

Even the government concurred a Bivens action could be brought against Agent Mesa if one key element had been satisfied.

The complaint states that Mesa engaged in that very conduct; it alleged, specifically, that Hernández was unarmed and posed no threat to Mesa or others. For these reasons, as Mesa acknowledged at oral argument, Hernández’s parents could have maintained a Bivens action had the bullet hit Hernández while he was running up or down the United States side of the embankment.

“Wrong place, wrong time” shouldn’t be the determining factor.

The only salient difference here: the fortuity that the bullet happened to strike Hernández on the Mexican side of the embankment. But Hernández’s location at the precise moment the bullet landed should not matter one whit.

[…]

Mesa’s allegedly unwarranted deployment of deadly force occurred on United States soil. It scarcely makes sense for a remedy trained on deterring rogue officer conduct to turn upon a happenstance subsequent to the conduct—a bullet landing in one half of a culvert, not the other.

If Bivens is neutered, there’s nothing left for plaintiffs. And the agency benefitting from this already does next to nothing to deter misconduct by its agents.

Regrettably, the death of Hernández is not an isolated incident. Cf. Rodriguez, 899 F. 3d, at 727 (complaint alleged that border agent fired 14 to 30 bullets across the border, killing a 16-year-old boy); Brief for Immigrant and Civil Rights Organizations as Amici Curiae 26–28 (describing various incidents of allegedly unconstitutional conduct by border and immigration officers); Brief for Border Network for Human Rights et al. as Amici Curiae 8–15 (listing individuals killed by border agents). One report reviewed over 800 complaints of alleged physical, verbal, or sexual abuse lodged against Border Patrol agents between 2009 and 2012; in 97% of the complaints resulting in formal decisions, no action was taken.

Zero accountability, blessed by two government branches. Here’s the third branch doing the same thing. The message it sends is this: if you’re going to kill a Mexican citizen, make sure they’re still in Mexico. And that message means the case coming up from the Ninth Circuit is going to give another Border Patrol agent a free pass on taking a foreigner’s life.

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Comments on “Supreme Court Says It's OK For Border Patrol Agents To Kill Mexican Citizens As Long As They Die In Mexico”

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162 Comments
ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Lets make this more interesting..
DEAR Central and South america,
F off..BRING your military, bring your people to the Border, lets have a shoot out..

Equal laws, they are NO LONGER LIABLE for killing our men on this side of the wall..
USA make up about, <1/4 of the land mass of the America’s…Have there been any Canadians killed cross border?? Its interesting that we have so many here and none have died Cross border.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Sounds like it is time to kidnap a murderer

I have no problem with this asshat being found and dragged to Mexico to be tried, convicted and executed. Since he works on the border, it should be fairly easy to get him without much effort. The same goes for anyone on either side that murders someone.

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Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Sounds like it is time to kidnap a murderer

US laws are actually okay with that, oddly enough. US courts are internationally notorious for not caring how a defendant came to be standing in the court room, only that the defendant is present.

The classic example being Manuel Noriega. The courts ignored the fact that he was legally a prisoner of war given how he was seized by military force upon a battlefield while he was the commander-in-chief of a foreign military. The courts ignored the fact that trying a prisoner of war under civilian laws is a war crime. They ignored the fact that if he were not a prisoner of war, then he was the victim of a kidnapping. They ignored the fact that if he had broken US laws, he had done so outside the US in a place where he was sovereign.

Instead, they looked only at the fact that he had broken US laws and was standing in a US court room, and convicted him. By that precedent, if someone were to kidnap a US citizen to stand trial in Mexico — or to try a US soldier who was taken as a prisoner of war as a civilian — it would not be illegal. Even though the law is clear that it would be, the case law precedent would supersede the written statute.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'It only okay when WE do it.'

By that precedent, if someone were to kidnap a US citizen to stand trial in Mexico — or to try a US soldier who was taken as a prisoner of war as a civilian — it would not be illegal. Even though the law is clear that it would be, the case law precedent would supersede the written statute.

While you may be correct that precedent would lead them to giving it a pass even though the law says otherwise I believe you grossly underestimate the hypocrisy of the US court system, especially when it comes to those in positions of power and/or authority.

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Anonymous Coward says:

More Equal under Law

… the ultimate judicial authority (SCOTUS) has merely re-affirmed that American government employees (especially LEO’s of any type) are above the law.

What would happen to you or me if we fired a rifle shot across the border– killing an innocent Mexican ?

All Americans are equal under the law, but some are more equal than most.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: More Equal under Law

This makes Americans less safe on their own side as well. As they’ve effectively said: "As long as it’s not our guy on our side, feel free to do as you please."

I’m sure the Mexicans are listening. Sure they won’t kill just anyone in a free for all that the US most certainly will, they don’t want to be next place that "freedom" is brought to, but I’m sure there will be plenty of "accidents" involving Mexican authorities claiming that the victims were drug trafficking suspects.

This is just more of the "Leader of the Free World" deciding who lives and who dies, while also expecting that the rest of the world is going to care if the same happens to them. Heads up: They won’t.

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Now 100 miles on either side of the border

Now that they have US Supreme Court approval I wonder how long it will be for the Border Patrol to start issuing sniper rifles and ghillie suits to some agents so that they can ‘take out’ anyone they like that comes within range. The bar for ‘anyone they like’ seems to be low as a bit of teenage rock throwing is enough to set them off.

It will be only a matter of time for those so equipped to become ‘proactive’ at their tasks. He was near some throwable rocks. They were making ‘furtive’ movements toward the border. She flipped me off. There was a contemptuous sneer on their faces. The group looked like they were about to swarm the border. It appeared that they were trying to ‘sex traffic’ those children with them.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 100 miles on either side of the border...South Park style

It will be only a matter of time for those so equipped to become ‘proactive’ at their tasks. He was near some throwable rocks. They were making ‘furtive’ movements toward the border. She flipped me off. There was a contemptuous sneer on their faces. The group looked like they were about to swarm the border. It appeared that they were trying to ‘sex traffic’ those children with them.

Look out, he’s coming right for us! bang

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If teenagers were playing on either side of that border and even threw rocks at the guards on the other side those teenagers could expect to live through the experience.

Yeah, those North Korean border guards are well-known for their restraint and respect for human life.

But the fact of the matter is that every day hundreds of Mexicans cross the U.S. border illegally and face little to no consequence for it. When they’re caught, they’re detained and sent back to their own country.

When North Korean citizens illegally cross their own border while attempting to flee the hellscape that is their own country, they’re summarily executed, sometimes by the dozens, and when caught alive, they’re sent to a concentration camp for the rest of their lives and their families and extended relatives are rounded up and sent there with them, even if they had nothing to do with the attempted escape.

To say that the U.S./Mexico border is less friendly than the North Korean Demilitarized Zone is such a ridiculous absurdity one wonders what color the sky in your world is.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Reciprocity is a bitch

So if a Mexican official (on Mexican soil) would shoot and kill a US border patrol agent (on US soil) who is shooting across the border at Mexicans, that would be 100% completely legitimate, right? US courts would see the immediate analogy with US agents being allowed to shoot anyone who throws a rock…? Right?

Yeah. Hyprocisy only goes so far…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Reciprocity is a bitch

This ruling is an unworkable mess. It does pave the way for the Mexican government to do the same and look the other way and since the US has set legal precedent in refusing to extradite a murderer to Mexico they can easily point to this very ruling when the US tries to get any Mexican agents extradited for shooting US Border Patrol agents. All its managing is to make the border patrol agents far less safe as Mexican citizens and border agents on their side start shooting first over fears of getting shot with zero legal recourse whenever they encounter CBP Agents anywhere near the border.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Short-term thinking leaving long-term problems

All its managing is to make the border patrol agents far less safe as Mexican citizens and border agents on their side start shooting first over fears of getting shot with zero legal recourse whenever they encounter CBP Agents anywhere near the border.

And that of course is the ultimate punchline to cases like this, where the badge must be protected at all costs: It may work in the short term, but only at the cost of the long term.

Judges may think that they are protecting those with badges and/or positions of authority by refusing to hold them accountable for their actions but the message they are ultimately sending is that the legal system will not protect members of the public against anyone in authority, so if a member of the public feels like they’ve been wronged and/or are in danger from someone with a badge if falls to them to protect themselves.

By undermining the rule of law and justice via making it clear that some groups are above both judges are making it more likely, if not inevitable, that people will increasingly take matters into their own hands since they can’t trust the courts to do so, and vigilante ‘justice’ like that is not a good outcome for anyone.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Short-term thinking leaving long-term problems

"Did I miss something — or did SCOTUS essentially openly admit it’s engaging in politics and diplomacy, making it’s decisions on political grounds rather than judicial ones?"

Yes and no.

Essentially SCOTUS claims it has no jurisdiction in this case in as thorough a hand-washing exercise as could be wished for, summarized thusly;

"Look, we’re tasked to uphold the US constitution, on US soil. The crime in question took place outside of our jurisdiction. This case belongs to a mexican court and we suggest they try diplomatic channels to address the problematic issue that the perpetrator happens to be unreachable."

Because although the shooter was standing on the US side all they’ve got on him is reckless discharge of a weapon, at most. The murder took place in mexico.

Ironically Mexico may end up wanting to build that wall after all…

Anonymous Coward says:

Mesa was also standing on the soil of the State of Texas when he committed murder. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal there, and I’m pretty sure Federal agents aren’t immune to state murder charges.

Maybe it’s not murder in Texas if you shoot some filthy messkan, though. I guess that’s why Texas hasn’t locked his ass up.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Mesa was also standing on the soil of the State of Texas when he committed murder."

I think the issue is that although Mesa was standing on US soil, no murder took place on US soil. A murder was committed in mexico.

The rest is a case of extraditing the murderer to mexico so a mexican court can judge him, which, as SCOTUS implies, will have to be handled through diplomatic channels.

And that’s where the law breaks down. Mesa could have taken a flame thrower to an orphanage full of crippled children but as long as the victims were on the mexican side no court in the US could convict him for it.

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Talmyr says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Every sane country (i,e, not the US) has a reasonable self-defence level, including proportionality. The US pretty much seems to say "if he throws a stone or touches the wall I can shoot him" whilst probably not being very happy if someone proportionately fires an RPG at their border control post.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"I guess you don’t understand self defense."

What we HAVE is a grown man with a firearm shooting and killing a teenaged child who was playing silly games.

I’ll give you a hint. even if we take Mesa’s word for it and the kid was really "pelting him with rocks" that still isn’t self-defense.

It’s outright murder. End of story.

A mexican court will never be able to see the murderer extradited to stand trial, but that’s another story.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You uh, might want to scroll down to the bottom of the comment section, Toom1275 posted a link to a previous article covering this train-wreck that included a photo of just what the border looked like in that section, and unless the kid had pin-point accuracy along with throwing capabilities that would put world-famous baseball pitchers to shame, and the killer was almost literally hugging the border wall there was basically zero threat outside a ‘struck by lightning the second you win the lottery’-odds level of bad luck, certainly not a ‘deadly force attack’.

Here’s the textual description that came with the photo, just to really hammer the point home:

”The ground on the American side is around 25 feet higher than the road, and a border fence rises another 20 or 25 feet above that… The fence is made of steel beams, each about 6½ inches in diameter, set about 3½ inches apart.’

It’s not murder to decide you don’t want to be murdered today.

It is when you can trivially remove yourself from the dangerous situation and therefore the threat but choose not to, and instead open fire.

I'm sick of this shit says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Rocks can be used to cause damage to the human body, but they are not considered to be deadly weapons.

Those must have been some magical rocks they were throwing, were they exploding rocks or maybe poison rocks? Better not take any chances .. blast ’em.

Do unto others before they do unto you?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Even if that was the case… ever heard of warning shots? Or rubber bullets, if you really need to shoot at someone. Or even better, using a loud-horn previously.

Loud-horns are awesome devices that allow you to project your voice at greater volumes at larger distances. That is, you can yell an make sure you will be heard and warn people about not doing bad things or they are going to make you use force.

Next step could be just aiming at them with your weapon. If you have a laser sight, you can use it to create a bigger effect, telling them "I’ve got my eyes on you, stop or else". No need to pull the trigger, just the fact that someone has the muzzle of a weapon trained at you is usually enough to stop anyone wanting to do any kind of shenanigan.

If that doesn’t work, knowing how bold some teens are, you can always use a warning shot, making clear your intention to shoot at anyone trying to harm you, without actually killing someone unless you’re really extremely unlucky. That’s usually enough to discourage anyone throwing rocks at you. I’ve seen riot policemen doing so when they were threatened by a mob that overwhelmed them 12 to 1 (and armed with molotov cocktails and such) and the mob dispersing away in no time.

Let’s assume they are suicidal and still keep at it, you can always make so that your first 2 bullets past that are rubber, instead of standard ammo. That way you can even take out whoever was shooting at you with lower risks of killing them than shooting them with a 5.56 mm FMJ bullet. Of course, rubber bullets can kill if hit in certain locations, so you’d usually try to avoid the torso and head and aim at a limb (legs, for example), if you’re able to. Or even better, ricochet that bullet. Iirc, it’s SOP when using those bullets.

And if that’s not the case and you still need to use lethal force, you don’t need to empty half of your clip to take down a teen. One bullet usually does the job and aiming at their legs or trying to ricochet the bullet on the ground before hitting them can reduce the lethal force by a lot.

What I’m trying to show is that any sane person has a lot of alternatives before needing to kill someone.

I remember meeting a bodyguard once and he told me that they usually carry their guns with 2 rubber bullets loaded first and then standard ammo. If the rubber bullets can’t take down the threat, then shit has hit the fan enough to allow them to use normal ones.

And I’m talking about someone that protected politicians from terrorist attacks. And talking with him, the guy looked like a bit crazy, you know.

Why the need to kill someone? It’s a pain in the ass, it involves a lot of paperwork and every death kills a part of yourself too.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"Why the need to kill someone? It’s a pain in the ass, it involves a lot of paperwork and every death kills a part of yourself too."

Because some disturbed individuals love the power trip of gunning down the helpless – which certainly includes a 15 year old child pitching rocks up a 25 foot wall.

Those people tend to look for jobs which have them come in contact with opportunities to exercise their hobby. Even easier when you consider that a border patrol officer could napalm any random house on the other side of the border and still not be held liable for jack shit as far as US law was concerned.

Those people know full well no US officer will ever face extradition and are abusing the hell out of that protection.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, he had a duty to stand his ground, since he was, you know, guarding the border.

Unless border patrol rules state that agents must literally be within two or three feet of the fence at all times during their shift then he could have guarded the border and removed himself from any chance of being hit by simply moving back a few feet, so yes, he absolutely could have retreated and still done his job.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Actually, he had a duty to stand his ground, since he was, you know, guarding the border."

I think you really, really want to read up on the details of this case before you comment further.

Because i don’t think you want to advocate the merits of a guard taking aim and shooting to death – execution-style – a 15 year old who at best was vainly trying to pitch rocks up a 25 foot wall.

Where was the warning and the warning shot?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

" Imagine the stength of a young man throwing rocks, and the results could be deadly. Don’t throw rocks at armed men if you don’t want a Darwin Award."

So in other words the next school shooting where someone guns down the guys who bullied him in cold blood is, in your argument, now fully justified?

I think I prefer my own version of events, where an armed adult facing a fifteen-year old child with a rock, should, in this case, simply take one step back and tell the kid to lay off, or in worst case, fire a single warning shot. Rather than, you know fire half a clip while aiming to kill, hitting the CHILD ten times dead center.

Given where the child and Mesa were, respectively, standing if the child could even hit Mesa with a rock at that distance and up a 25 foot wall, Mesa would have done far better to simply recruit the kid as the next ace pitcher for national baseball.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The fence is made of steel beams, each about 6½ inches in diameter, set about 3½ inches apart.’

The ground on the American side is around 25 feet higher than the road

Given the fence design, and the drop to where the kid was, Mesa must have stuck his gun arm through the fence to shoot, and it would have taken a lucky throw to get a stone through the same gap.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Given the fence design, and the drop to where the kid was, Mesa must have stuck his gun arm through the fence to shoot, and it would have taken a lucky throw to get a stone through the same gap."

That struck me as well. The fence, the height of the wall…all in all if that kid could get a rock between the bars at that distance Mesa should have grabbed the kid and made for the nearest talent scout’s office because that kid would be the next ace pitcher of national baseball.

Mesa stuck his firearm muzzle through the bars, aimed well, and buried ten bullets in that kid who he must have realized was unarmed and helpless.

…and, having read up on the case, apparently the kid was trying to run away when he was gunned down, from 60 feet away. It looks like every court to try this case is fully agreed that this was out and out murder…which a mexican court needs to address because it’s outside of US court jurisdiction.

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Anonymous Coward says:

"Attempt"?

Agent Mesa claimed the teen was "involved in an illegal border crossing attempt"

If he crossed to the "US side" of the culvert, it was a successful attempt. Not one that warrants any US action at all, of course; it’s just a technicality that these fences are located entirely within the USA, and anyone touching the fence has crossed the border.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: An Act of War

Yes, that is correct. Mexico’s practical remedy is to invite in the Chinese and Iranian armies, to set up bases in Northern Mexico. China has a huge army. Iran merely has a large army. The effectiveness of both has hitherto been blunted by the fact that they do not have bases on the North American continent. A couple of million enemy soldiers in Northern Mexico, with tanks, helicopters, fighter aircraft, and SAM missile batteries, would be a very serious problem.

"[Millioned of Americans] yet unborn will weep at [Justice Allioto’s] jest, more than ever did laugh at it."

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: An Act of War

"China lets 400,000,000 muslims run west out of China, Iran will have a pretty large army."

Err…there are about 12 million uighurs in total, and that’s about the portion of china’s muslim citizenry which might be real happy to be allowed to leave. The other muslim minorities, like the Hui, are, apparently, doing just fine in China.
China has little issue with religions. It has issues with secessionists. You want real grief just stand on chinese soil and raise a national flag other than the chinese one, basically.

And the sunni uyghurs are, apparently, not too keen on joining the shi’ite Iranians. I’m not sure where China would find 400 million muslims all eager to leave for Mexico.

I’m pretty sure the OP was being sarcastic. Because the suggestion that China or Iran would migrate millions overseas can’t be taken seriously.

"This is a fucking disasterous ruling by the supposed supreme law of the land."

And a predictable one, alas. The supreme court – and any other court – are agreed that the murder happened in Mexico, not in the US. Thus no US court has jurisdiction. That part, honestly, is hard to gainsay.

The disgraceful part is what follows – because the odds that the US allows extradition so Mesa can stand his trial in a Mexican court of law are nil.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Had this event bern reversed and a US citizen been involved in pelting a Mexican with deadly rocks and wad then shot and killed by a Mexican CBP guard, then the ‘outraged’ US government demanded that guard extradited but was refused, there would have been hell to pay for Mexico! All manner of sanctions would have been imposed, there would have been trade deals ended, you name it, it would have altered! But because it was an act perpetrated by the US that resulted in a needless, meaningless death of a boy who was just playing with his friends, a death that happened because it could, because Agent Mesa had the power, but not the brain power to end or not end that life, decided it didn’t matter, so ended it! How can we let such callous people loose with deadly weapons when they cannot make the correct decision on when to use them or against who? More trust in security forces disappearing out the window!!

Koby (profile) says:

Could do it != should do it

While we can argue over who is allowed to do what legally, even if you believe that American Boarder Pateol agents should be tried for murder, you still have to admit that this was a really dumb move by the kids. Don’t touch the American boarder fence. Don’t throw rocks at armed guards. These kids must have had some very lousy parents to never have any sense of responsibility. You should never want to get the words "He had the right of way" chiseled onto your tombstone.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Could do it != should do it

  1. So what? Everything you’ve written is 100 percent irrelevant to what should happen to Mesa, and 100 percent irrelevant to anything else to do with the case. It is exactly like writing "she shouldn’t have been dressed like that if she didn’t want to be raped". Maybe it would be a reasonable issue to bring up in a self defense class… if you said it carefully, wrapped in appropriate disclaimers and explanations. Maybe it would be a reasonable thing to say tactfully to your daughter, when you were talking to her about hypothetical future risks. It is a fucking stupid thing to say in a discussion after somebody’s been victimized.
  2. Your boot-licking attitude attitude really shows when you try to twist the word "responsibility" to mean "not pissing off violent scumbags in authority". It’s safer not to piss them off, but that has nothing to do with responsibility.
  3. What’s this "American Boarder Patrol"? Is that some outfit that checks to make sure that room rentals by Americans are on the up-and-up?
Rekrul says:

Re: Could do it != should do it

While we can argue over who is allowed to do what legally, even if you believe that American Boarder Pateol agents should be tried for murder, you still have to admit that this was a really dumb move by the kids. Don’t touch the American boarder fence. Don’t throw rocks at armed guards.

Assuming that they were throwing rocks and that wasn’t just an excuse to cover up the murder, what’s the effective range of a teenager’s arm when lobbing rocks up and over a border fence? What kind of a mentally deficient asshole thinks "He’s throwing rocks over the fence at me and rather than just backing out of range, I’ll pull out my gun and end his life."?

Yes, it was dumb of the kids to do, again if they were throwing rocks, but kids do dumb things. Think of all the dumb things you did when you were a kid, did you deserve to die for any of them?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Could do it != should do it

Oh yeah — he fired SIXTEEN (16) shots, a full TEN (10) of which hit the teen.

Did he also testify the teenager kept throwing rocks throughout the Border guard’s valiant self-defence?

From what I’ve heard, there appears to be — despite video — no evidence that any rocks were thrown (except for the statement by the BP guy who fired… how many shots was that again?).

Rosa rugosa (profile) says:

Re: Could do it != should do it

“Don’t be accused (on zero evidence) of having ever so much as contemplated discarding a burnt Ranch-Flavor Dorito within three longitudinal meridians of a border guard… ” In the wrong raking light, on an unlucky day, that hypothesis has a funny knack for converting healthy children who “talk wrong” into hamburger.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Could do it != should do it

"This is English."

The English language includes concepts like abbreviations, which can include non-alphabetical characters.

"Is it really so fucking hard to write out "not equal to"?"

Since it involves 12 keypresses instead of 2, and the community here is a technical one that implicitly understands the shorter abbreviation? Erm, yes.

Is it really so hard to read a comment whose content you clearly understand and move on, instead of trying to derail the discussion with whining and swearing because the way it’s written offends your delicate sensibilities?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: ≠

In the Bush and Obama administrations it was disturbingly common that the only justification for the government to commit atrocities or mass rights violations was Well, it’s not illegal for us to do this.

So it’s only kinda natural for a penetration tester like Trump???? to step in and show just how far he could get away so long as courts wouldn’t prosecute. That he was able to threaten the alleged overseers (the checkers and balancers) only demonstrated how awfully our system of government needed some testing.

The problem is, he’s a total black-hat and entirely crowned himself king. (And he worships Putin like a god, but that may be incidental.)

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Could do it != should do it

" You should never want to get the words "He had the right of way" chiseled onto your tombstone."

I have to agree. Those kids should have been given "The Talk" by their parents, about not approaching the fence because on the other side live monsters with weapons who’ll shoot to kill as easily as the average cartel thug.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Torture and Mercenaries

Regarding Torture

If you’re trying to defend the US use of torture by suggesting another authoritarian regime tortures more than we do, it’s really not a good look.

Even one instance of torture is enough to destroy the US presumption of moral high ground or exceptionalism. All that shining city on a hill stuff <poof> gone.

But its worse than that. We have large factions of voters who now feel it is appropriate to justify or defend torture by the US. For any reason (though ultimately it has come down to the pleasure of vengeful oligarchs). That paints the US as a den of mobsters.

Regarding Mercenaries
)The Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, (Protocol I), 8 June 1977 states:)

Art 47. Mercenaries
1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.
2. … <gets into the specific definitions of mercenaries.>

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Protocol I

Signed but not ratified. Still The US hires mercenaries to commit war crimes in its name. It’s not a good look, and it doesn’t change them from being war crimes, or being the responsibility of the United States.

Not sure why you’re bringing up China’s torture. The US could entirely choose to not torture and doesn’t.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 What the markdown?

"The vast majority of the torture is inflicted from China."

So if I walk up to one person and gun him down in cold blood then my defense that "I didn’t kill as many as the average school shooter" should be successful, according to you?

This is not an exercise in relativity. Torture is a heinous abomination and all it takes is exactly ONE case for there to be an irreparable stain on the moral high ground the nation in question could ever take.

Defending torture means you are – by definition – one of the Bad Guys. There’s no backing away from that and no justification possible.

Your argument only ends up like that of a small-time gangster whining that he isn’t as much of a shit as the OG’s from MS-13.
What your argument also means is that you revoked any right of being considered part of the civilized community, because one of the criteria of being civilized is, literally, "no torture".

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 What the markdown?

That’s the thing that annoys me about these people. The standard is never "we should strive to be the best there is". It’s "so long as we can point to someone else who’s worse than us, we don’t need to even try to improve". Then wondering why they’re as hated in some circle as the "bad guys" without realising that they are what they compared themselves to.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 What the markdown?

"The standard is never "we should strive to be the best there is"."

And yet, that used to be the gold standard of a US politician. You wouldn’t think the rot would go that deep in a mere half-century.

"It’s "so long as we can point to someone else who’s worse than us, we don’t need to even try to improve"."

Deep down people who try to use that excuse know this is a crap argument. The truth being that in any conflict of "Us vs Everyone Else" they simply do not care. And more often than not the reason they don’t care is because to them a "mexican" – or the black student shot fifteen times by cops in another state, or their obnoxious next-door neighbor with the music taste they don’t like – simply isn’t a human being. They’re not interested, and they are far too short-sighted to realize that they themselves are somewhere on that list of people who have no rights when a bad cop shows up with a need to vent his frustrations at random.

"Then wondering why they’re as hated in some circle as the "bad guys" without realising that they are what they compared themselves to."

Because in their own headspace they can’t be the "bad guy". By definition that’s always going to be someone else they can’t relate to.

This is why I think basic philosophy needs to be part of standard school curriculums because in the end it’s even more necessary than math if what you want to end up with is a civilized society rather than a conglomeration of warring tribes.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Napalm

Some people need to be reminded that murdering people in mass is an atrocity, a good way to invalidate your cause and a great way to make enemies across the world theater.

Let’s just assume Anonymous Coward was blue-sky brainstorming, shall we? (Obligatory Mitchell and Webb)

Most undocumented immigrants (by far) don’t cross the border where there’s a wall, or where you’d be napalming. They get a visa, come over and overstay. And Trump’s???? vanity project will not slow them down.

But yeah, if we start rounding up the Latins and interning them (which is a viable next step for the regime) that’ll not only discourage immigration but increase emigration drastically. Including you, if you know what’s good for you. (Ignore this if you’re closely related to the top 100 richest families in the States.)

Most of us are lower on the list, but still on the list.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"To be clear, I think the ruling okay-ed CBP killing Mexicans as long as the fatal blow is struck in Mexico."

Actually the "ruling" as such only confirms standard international law. The actual murder took place in Mexico. Thus normally Mesa should count as a fugitive from mexican law.

This should result in extradition so Mesa could stand trial in a Mexican court. And this will happen when flying pigs draw contrails in the skies of a frozen hell.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"When a B-52 Stratofortress drops a 10,000-lb bomb on the enemy, the 4th Amendment has nothing to do with it."

I think a 10,000-lb bomb would constitute an unreasonable search on many levels. 🙂

But other than that I’m fairly sure that the constitution doesn’t actually hold an injunction visavi murder per se. More on regulating how a murderer or suspected murderer is to be tried.
I’m doubtful you could stretch the crime of Mesa to be considered either counterfeiting, treason or piracy, which are the only crimes the constitution directly addresses.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

'Hey, no fair using our own arugment against us!'

The hypocritical kicker of course is that if someone on the mexico side of the border had spotted the killer aiming at a kid and took them out first then the US courts and politicians would be calling for blood, demanding that the murderer be extradited to pay for their heinous crime. ‘Who cares if the shooter and the one they killed were in different countries, they killed a US citizen and they need to pay for it!’

Because it’s not just an american that murdered someone but the one who pulled the trigger was someone in a position of authority though suddenly killing someone over the border is positively peachy.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Hypocritical kicker

Laws are for other people. We’re allowed to be whiny but if the others dare gripe, they’re snowflakes.

I’d like to say this is only the street rhetoric, but it seems this kind of inconsistency has even infected the highest court of the land. I blame the five that serve the Federalist Society before they serve the United States.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
BernardoVerda (profile) says:

Re: 'Hey, no fair using our own arugment against us!'

Heck, Americans seem to feel it’s perfectly reasonable to imprison without due process and convict for murder, on testimony extracted under torture, despite evidence to the contrary, foreign teenagers who have the bad judgment to survive a small battle in a foreign country, in which a participating Special Forces soldier happened to get killed by parties unknown (likely "friendly fire").

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/07/07/opinion/what-if-omar-khadr-isnt-guilty

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

What is Roberts afraid of?

Chief US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts seems to be afraid of losing the public trust in the courts… except he seems to acquiesce more and more to 4/5 ideological split rulings, often with the majority decreeing rather than explaining their logic. (Or making unfortunate implications such as prioritizing the interests of officials and corporations over the interests of the public — or of less-aligned officials and stakeholders)

So what happens when the public loses faith in the courts that might scare Roberts. Isn’t the public going to gripe a bit but ultimately comply? No one is going to throw a brick or stab a judge or anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What is Roberts afraid of?

I am no longer convinced that our overlords understand or give a shit about the public trust. Certainly most of the public does not trust the overlords.

I find it interesting how the corporate news media has become more obvious (or maybe just lazy) in their bias toward business and money over the well being of the populace.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: What is Roberts afraid of?

The Estates General of 1789, was called to order by King Louis XVI to address a list of general grievances.

The first estate was the clergy who owned 10% of the land, taxed the third estate routinely and represented about 100,000 persons of the cloth. They got one vote.

The second estate was nobility, about 400,000 persons who owned 25% of the land. They got one vote.

The third estate was the commons, about 25 million persons some who had modest wealth, a few (50) wealthy landowners and teems of rabble who owned squad. They got one vote.

As it was clear the clergy and nobility could outvote the population 2 to 1 every time, none of the popular grievances were resolved, driving the third estate to form the National Assembly against the will of the king.

The story starts out nice and neat but gets rapidly messy.

But naaah, that wouldn’t ever happen here in the United States. We’re too cowed by our brutal law enforcement in their stompy tactical boots.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Mexican FCA?

Still doesn’t answer the question; Why the hell, given recent events, would Mexico want to remove the barrier between themselves and the US? If I was a mexican I’d insist mexico built a wall all their own to block all access to the US…

…wait a minute, is this what Trump meant when he said the mexicans were going to pay for the wall? Have the border Patrol shoot people at random until mexico caves and builds a wall to protect themselves from the triggerhappy gringos?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Mexican FCA?

"From the ruling, a sniper on the Mexican side is legally justified in ending the life of this murderer with a badge."

Not quite.

Mesa is guilty of murder – in Mexico. He’ll never be extradited to stand trial there, of course.

If a mexican snipes across the border and kills Mesa he’ll be guilty of murder in the US – and will be extradited so fast his feet won’t touch the floor.

The practical reality is that mexican people close to the border need to hold "The Talk" with their children and inform them the armed men behind that fence on the hill are even more evil and bloodthirsty than cartel thugs and will kill you given half a chance.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Mexican FCA?

The reason Mexican citizens regain a right to bear arms is because they fought off France, who was not the colonialist empire that settled there (and displaced / integrated the natives) in the first place. An invader came and occupied, and so they have history of how that felt.

So Mexico is more familiar with war on their soil than we are here in the States. And within their culture, it is much more likely their militia will mobilize to harass and antagonize US forces (who have already opened hostilities) whether or not the central government endorses this action.

Agents of the United States gunned down a Mexican child.

I doubt this is going to be the end of it, and the drug warlords may see this as an opportunity to destabilize the region which suits their industry.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Mexican FCA?

"I doubt this is going to be the end of it, and the drug warlords may see this as an opportunity to destabilize the region which suits their industry."

All too true. If I were a mexican I’d probably hold a few comparisons between the drug lords and the border patrol next door and wonder "Why, exactly, are we going after el jéfe, again, when we could spend the time securing the lives of our children against those monsters?*"

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Personanongrata says:

Murder

Supreme Court Says It’s OK For Border Patrol Agents To Kill Mexican Citizens As Long As They Die In Mexico

Murder is murder regardless of how federal court jesters sitting upon the US supreme court of marsupials decide to parse the criminal act.

What emergency situation necessitated Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa murdering a child?

When a government agent murders a child in cold blood and the highest court in the land uses jurisprudence pretzel logic to aid/abet the crime it renders the meaning of the words in the following sentence – due process of the law, unalienable rights, life liberty and pursuit of happiness – null and void.

What are unalienable rights if they may be speciously revoked in order to protect a murderer from accountability?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Murder

"Murder is murder regardless of how federal court jesters sitting upon the US supreme court of marsupials decide to parse the criminal act."

That’s true.

The legal ballet act by SCOTUS underscored that point perfectly well – just that the "murder" in question took place in Mexico, outside of US jurisdiction.

The rest of it was simply a handwashing exercise underscoring that SCOTUS can’t order Mesa to be extradited to mexico to be tried, and advised a diplomatic effort be made to redress this.
While being very quiet as to the possibility that any US border agent would ever be extradited anywhere, even if they’d firebombed an orphanage.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Does anyone else have a problem with this INSANE scotus ruling?"

The ruling has problems, but not the ones everyone is up in arms about. The murder was committed on mexican soil. That makes it the jurisdiction of a mexican court, not a US one.

Now…this is where you’d normally expect a request for extradition to be made so the murderer could stand trial in a mexican court.

Such extradition will not happen. That’s basically guaranteed. And SCOTUS can’t do much to change that, I’m afraid.

It still doesn’t exonerate SCOTUS who could and should have issued a strong recommendation that the act of an armed US agent of shooting an unarmed child 10 times should be seriously considered for extradition. I’m pretty sure they are allowed to issue opinion – in fact they did. Too bad that "opinion" was in the form of "Mebbe if you talk to the diplomats…?".

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Leftist means 'cares when kids are murdered', interesting

Hey, you’re the one who said it, it’s a war zone, if the mormon family didn’t want to be shot then they should have stayed out of the area. Really they have no-one to blame but themselves. /poe

Just a tip, but when you try to give a pass to a murder by claiming ‘it’s a war zone’ and that ‘different rules apply’ you not only shoot any attempts at garnering sympathy when you try to hold up a different person/group who was murdered, you also demonstrate your positively reprehensible standards and what sort of person you are.

But hey, if you like publicly showing off what a disgusting and vile person you are then by all means, carry on.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Of course we all know about the family of Mormons which was mown down by the cartels in Mexico."

Which in your mind somehow justifies a border patrol agent reacting to an unruly unarmed teenager at a safe distance by gunning him down with ten rounds dead center how, exactly?

I guess next time there’s a school shooting you should try flying the argument that the shooter had been "provoked" in similar fashion and it’s too bad that the school was in the unsafe area on the wrong side of the tracks?

"I hardly see the point in complaining…"

Well, i guess when the alt-right has THAT view on murdering children because they happen to have the wrong skin color it IS naíve of "leftists" to assume there’s still hope for the US to come together over any issue. Might as well get the next civil war started and done with.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Civil war over the Alt-Right

The alt-right as I’ve encountered them (granted this is anecdotal and I don’t have any large-sampling study), are very angry and well on their way towards the same headspace as rampage killers or suicide bombers or IRA attackers.

That is to say, they’ve become cynical and frustrated enough to want to express their rage explosively, but don’t have a strong direction with which to do that, and it makes them easy prey for guys like Trump???? or Bannon (or really, any fascist strongman type ever). They’re also easy prey for terrorist agitators, and are sometimes groomed into attackers. They’d also be hot prey for FBI terror sting operations, if the feds ever wanted to target young white men.

US society, between overworked parents, apathy towards bully culture and our squick over sex (and a profound repulsion to unsocialized horny men) bakes out a new riotous mob every year, and we have little interest in changing the culture that does it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Civil war over the Alt-Right

"US society, between overworked parents, apathy towards bully culture and our squick over sex (and a profound repulsion to unsocialized horny men) bakes out a new riotous mob every year, and we have little interest in changing the culture that does it."

I keep saying that the US concentrates all too many people into a pressure cooker of fear and frustration with the only safety "valve" being organized violence.

There’s a big problem when a nation has a dysproportionally large underclass who grow up used to the idea that they were born to lose and might as well voice their protests in the form of randomly aimed gunfire.

honestly, the poverty statistics of the US being well into what you’d expect from a third world country is something I’d have expected more americans to take seriously.

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