Oregon ranchers pardoned in case that inspired 2016 occupation

Share
Oregon ranchers pardoned in case that inspired 2016 occupation

President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned an OR rancher and his son who were jailed for arson attacks on federal land, and whose convictions triggered an armed stand-off at a wildlife refuge in 2016. The Hammonds were convicted in 2012 of setting fires that spread on government-managed land near their ranch. Although prosecuted under a post-Oklahoma City federal anti-terrorism law that carried a minimum five-year sentence, sentencing Judge Michael Hogan exercised judicial discretion and refused to impose the mandated minimum.

In a statement Tuesday announcing the pardon, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders emphasized uncertainties in the case and the prison terms and fines the Hammonds had already completed.

Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond were granted executive grants of clemency by Trump, according to a White House statement.

Their case prompted a 40-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016 by protesters objecting to federal land ownership.

The elder Hammond has served nearly three years of his sentence, while his son has been incarcerated for four years. Steven Hammond, 49, has served roughly four. They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit.

"I am not going to apply the mandatory minimum ... because, to me, to do so under the 8th Amendment would result in a sentence which is grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offenses here", explained trial Judge Michael Hogan.

"Pardoning the Hammonds sends a unsafe message to America's park rangers, wildland firefighters, law enforcement officers, and public lands managers", Center for Western Priorities said in a statement.

"Farm Bureau was shocked by the minimum five-year sentence the Hammonds faced", said American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall.

But President Obama's Department of Justice appealed, and in 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the administration's favor.

Prosecutors alleged in the indictment at the time that the Hammond family set fire to the rangeland after complaining the BLM was taking too long to complete required environmental studies before conducting controlled burn operations.

While numerous Hammonds' supporters didn't approve of the takeover, they saw the Obama administration's pursuit of longer prison sentences as vindictive.

On Jan. 2, 2016, militants seized the headquarters of the wildlife refuge in Harney County to protest the Hammonds' prosecution and sentencing.

The Hammonds have been locked up since January 4, 2016, after they were re-sentenced following their 2012 conviction for arson on public lands. One of the occupiers, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was shot dead by Oregon State Police during the takeover.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Fearless France ready to show Belgium's Henry he picked wrong side
France defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday while Belgium edged Brazil 2-1 in Kazan. There is no player in the French team that comes close to offering what he does to the team.

Sixth boy out of Thai cave, officials vow to ‘speed up’ operation
The four rescued boys have been transported to a Chiang Rai hospital for treatment and medical evaluations, reported CBS . Thai Navy SEALs and global cave diving experts brought out four boys Sunday, and the operation is continuing today.

Ahead of summit, Trump won't label Putin friend or foe
Since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, the country has built up its forces close to Baltic states. Engel, a New York Democrat, is ranking member of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs. "Mr.

The Most Successful X Factor Winners
The song became an instant hit, selling over 1,25 million copies and this in the UK alone, yes , she was the winner of X Factor. M ore recently, “That’s My Goal” reached an outstanding total of 1.12m copies and this just in the UK factor.

3 Secrets of Innovation Development by Max Polyakov
Also, the investor should never forget that even the biggest amount of invested resources doesn’t guarantee a success. One of the recent examples is the mass closing of brick-and-mortar shops in the USA because of Amazon’s popularity.

How to work during a trip and all make it up?
In this article, we will share with you a few writing tips: Plan ahead Travel and constant movement exhaust our creative energy. And even better, if you set yourself as a rule not to leave your home until you do the basic business of the day.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive in Ireland for tour
The Duchess also pushed boundaries by going bare-legged at the official photocall to announce her engagement to Prince Harry . In 2011, the Queen became the first British monarch to visit Ireland since the visit by her grandfather, George V, in 1911.

Thai cave rescue: Here’s how Thai soccer team became trapped in cave
Two British divers found them nine days later huddled on a muddy ledge in pitch darkness more than 4km inside the cave system. They entered the cave after a soccer practice and soon found themselves trapped when heavy rains flooded the complex.

Winners of Max Polyakov’s initiative Vernadsky Challenge hit the top of CES 2018
The engineering startup competition provides its participants with reviews from industry expert, as well as customer feedback. The organizers are interested in a wide range of fields from space technology and robotics to military and medical equipment.

Hazard: Real Madrid is everyone's dream
In outshining Brazil's Neymar in the last eight, Hazard may have put himself in the shop window. France vs Belgium will be interesting.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.