BREAKING: Trump responds to call for pardon of Oregon ranchers
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President Trump on Tuesday pardoned the father and son from Oregon whose imprisonment for setting fires on federal land sparked a 41-day long takeover of a wildlife refuge in the state.
Trump signed the order granting clemency to 76-year-old Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond, 49, who were convicted of arson in 2012 for fires that burned on federal land in 2001 and 2006. Though they served their original sentences for the conviction — Dwight serving three months, Steven serving one year — an appellate judge ruled in 2015 that the terms were too short under federal minimum sentencing laws and the Hammonds were resentenced to serve the mandatory minimum.
The article goes on to state the following:
“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.”
The statement added: “Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.”
Dwight has so far served about three years in prison and Steven has served about four years. They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit.
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BELOW IS THE FULL STATEMENT POSTED ON THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE:
Today, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency (Full Pardons) for Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., and his son, Steven Hammond. 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 evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.
At the Hammonds’ original sentencing, the judge noted that they are respected in the community and that imposing the mandatory minimum, 5-year prison sentence would “shock the conscience” and be “grossly disproportionate to the severity” of their conduct. As a result, the judge imposed significantly lesser sentences. The previous administration, however, filed an overzealous appeal that resulted in the Hammonds being sentenced to five years in prison. This was unjust.
Dwight Hammond is now 76 years old and has served approximately three years in prison. Steven Hammond is 49 and has served approximately four years in prison. They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit. The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West. Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) July 10, 2018
Trump gives clemency to cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire on public grazing land. These ranchers were often cited by Ammon Bundy to justify armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife in Oregon. pic.twitter.com/AFdUqAzXzK
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) July 10, 2018
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