In October 2012 Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz allegedly shot and killed Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez — a 16-year-old Mexican national. Swartz is now being tried for second-degree murder by the Department of Justice, and the incident has sparked a number of legal issues concerning the U.S. Border Patrol.
BYU Law Professor Eric Jensen weighed in on the complex legal considerations in an article published by The Daily Universe. Jensen specializes in international criminal law and national security law, and has experience as a federal prosecutor.
“It’s clear that Mexican nationals shouldn’t be throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents,” Jensen says. “A rock can certainly represent deadly force.”
That said, the issue is far from black and white. “It’s also clear that Border Patrol agents shouldn’t be using deadly force when it’s not authorized, so this case will hopefully give some fidelity to where those lines lie,” he continued.
Check out the Daily Universe article here to read more of Professor Jensen’s analysis of both the criminal and civil cases.