Trump pardons OR cattle ranchers at the center of Bundy standoff

Trump pardons OR cattle ranchers at the center of Bundy standoff

Trump pardons OR cattle ranchers at the center of Bundy standoff

Two cattle ranchers and convicted arsonists whose prison sentences sparked the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Southeastern Oregon returned home to Burns as free men on Wednesday morning after they were given full pardons by President Donald Trump. The fire destroyed all evidence of the game violations, the US attorney's office said. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump granted clemency to Dwight Lincoln Hammond Jr. and his son, Steven Hammond, two OR ranchers convicted of arson.

As of 2018, Dwight Hammond had served about three years in prison and Steven Hammond had served four, according to the White House.

Some called it treason, others saw it as constitutionalists fighting for their private property rights; there's too much to recap in this blog post, but to put it concisely, I firmly believe the sentencing of Dwight and Steven Hammond was politically motivated and had nothing to do with the Hammond's lighting a backfire (with permission, might I add) to try to control a wildfire headed for their ranch.

The Hammonds were sentenced to five years in prison in 2015 after being convicted of arson for a fire that prosecutors said was committed on federal land where they had grazing rights leased to them for cattle ranching.

Others said they committed serious crimes and anxious that the pardons might prompt other actions involving public lands. A day earlier they were pardoned by President Donald Trump and released from a federal prison near Los Angeles.

The Hammonds have been locked up since January 4, 2016, after they were re-sentenced following their 2012 conviction for arson on public lands.

The prosecutors appealed, arguing the mandatory minimum sentences had to hold.

The Hammonds' case captured national attention after an armed group of antigovernment activists protested their prison sentences by seizing the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days in 2016. It led to the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in rural OR for more than a month in 2016.

Bundy and his supporters were eventually arrested, majority during a confrontation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state police on a snow-covered roadside where a spokesman for the group, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was shot dead. But the judge, citing their respect in the community, reduced their sentences: Dwight initially received a sentence of three months; his son, Steven, a year and a day.

Saying that he and other attorneys involved in the case will try to expedite the Hammonds' return to society, Matasar stated, "I am very happy for the entire Hammond family, who I have known and respected for 25 years".

The Hammonds largely distanced themselves from the occupation and are part of a family known in the high desert of eastern OR for its generosity and community contributions.

"The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds' responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges", said the White House.

"Trump's pardon abandons human decency to signal encouragement of violence and extremism among his base".

A full pardon grants broader absolution, which undercuts the dangerousness of setting fires and indicates that public land can be burned without effect, Weiss said.

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