Trump Issues Full Pardons To Oregon Ranchers, Dwight and Steven Hammond, Forced Back Into Prison Under Anti-Terror Law
( Daily Caller ) President Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers forced back into prison in 2016 to serve out the rest of the mandatory minimum sentence required under an anti-terrorism law.
“The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land,” the White House said in a statement. “The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.
Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of committing arson on federal land in 2012 under an anti-terrorism law from 1996. The U.S. District Court judge who sentenced the ranchers believed the mandatory minimum sentence was too harsh, thus both men served short stints in prison.
The Hammonds served their time, but federal prosecutors appealed the case and got a federal court to overturn the 2012 judgement. The Hammonds were forced back into prison in 2016 to serve the rest of their sentences.
The Hammonds’ re-incarceration sparked an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon by brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy. An armed standoff between the Bundys and law enforcement lasted
Protect the Harvest (PTH), agriculture advocacy group, has been lobbying the Trump administration to commute the Hammonds’ sentences, arguing forcing them back into prison was unjust.