The government won an appeal over the Hammonds' sentences in 2015, and the two men were resentenced to serve out the remaining years of a five-year minimum. "Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency".
The perceived unjust sentence for the Hammonds inspired Ammon Bundy to lead an armed standoff in early 2016, when a group of armed men broke into the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
Hogan instead sentenced Dwight Hammond to three months in prison and Steven Hammond to a year and one day. The Hammonds could have faced less than a year in prison under a plea offer they declined, she said. He also noted the jury acquitted them on most charges.
A full pardon grants broader absolution, which undercuts the dangerousness of setting fires and indicates that public land can be burned without outcome, Weiss said. The elder Hammond said he was trying to fend off invasive species.
"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.
But they send a message that Trump also delivered with his previous pardon of lawless Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio: which is that when a certain kind of (white) frontier-justice renegade decides to defy the federal government, it's the offender, not the government, who gets the benefit of the doubt.
The Hammond family released a statement saying they agree with the White House that the appeal was "overzealous".
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.
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But it's as good an idea as I can come up with for a practical strategy that could defeat Kavanaugh. It is imperative that judges adhere to the Constitution and resist judicial activism.
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Trump administration freezes risk adjustment payments
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