Trump pardons ranchers whose arrests led to armed occupation of wildlife refuge
Fox News: President Trump on Tuesday pardoned the father and son ranchers from Oregon whose imprisonment for setting fires on federal land sparked a 41-day 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. This decision led to the 2016 protests.
“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.”
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