Trump should have just left them finish their terms.
The jury convicted both of the Hammonds of using fire to destroy federal property for a 2001 arson known as the Hardie-Hammond Fire, located in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area. Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property. Jurors were told that Steven Hammond handed out “Strike Anywhere” matches with instructions that they be lit and dropped on the ground because they were going to “light up the whole country on fire.” One witness testified that he barely escaped the eight to ten foot high flames caused by the arson. The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations. After committing the arson, Steven Hammond called the BLM office in Burns, Oregon and claimed the fire was started on Hammond property to burn off invasive species and had inadvertently burned onto public lands. Dwight and Steven Hammond told one of their relatives to keep his mouth shut and that nobody needed to know about the fire.
These f-er’s are at the front of the public lands debate. Any support for them is support for federal lands turn over. IMO- 5 years each was a slap on the wrist.
"I agree Trump was clueless in his decision to pardon these guys", tell me KS, what makes you think you actually know all the facts regarding this? You only know what the government wants you to know on this one. The fact that you're arguing against it based on your contempt of Trump takes it to the petty level.
sharp is correct, fire is an excellent habitat tool and it is not uncommon for loss of control to happen.
I am not concluding anything on this case as I just do not know.
I am betting the total of those that have ever been pardoned is 2.
Good grief...... some folks with 40 hour "public sector" jobs need to do some introspection, or at minimum some fact checking. Those Fed "employees" that manage the place have been trying to move them off their land a good long time. Clueless comes to mind...... the folks running this didn't just want their little spot there.... they wanted.... and think they are owed..... ALL of it.
They can now go pound sand. Which may be more physical work than they have done in their entire worthless existence.....
Make no mistake. It is the Feds that moved in and made the trouble. They not only made no effort to work with local ranchers..... they openly did all they could to displace them. People that had been working that land for generations.
Every year a lot of federal (and state for that matter) employees set prescribed fires/back fires/burnouts that get away and burn a lot more brush than was involved here. These federal employees are NEVER charged with anything. Much less arson.
Since the decision to prosecute was political, no one should really be upset when the case is resolved politically.
The Hammonds are hardly terrorists. Nor are they heroes. They are ranchers trying to make a living, much like most of us would do in their place. If anything, they have been antagonized and victimized by the unaccountable federal government. In a perfect world, the judge who initially sentenced them, the judge who put them back in prison, the prosecutors, and the BLM goons who harassed them should all take their place in prison.
More evidence that when Trump pardoned the Hammonds, it was to right a wrong.
The dispute between Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond and the federal government would not seem like the type to ignite a standoff by armed protesters. But sometimes the facts get lost amid the long-brewing conflict between private landowners in the West and their neighboring landlord, the Bureau of Land Management.
The case also revives the controversy around mandatory minimum sentences, which many advocates feel require judges to issue unfairly long prison terms, often in drug cases, which Congress is gradually addressing. The original judge in the Hammonds’ case elected to defy the mandatory minimums after their convictions, setting up the protests on behalf of the ranchers when they were resentenced to five-year terms.
The facts are these, court records show:
1.) The Hammonds admitted to, and were convicted of, setting two small fires that had nothing to do with the unrest over how the Bureau of Land Management rules its own land. In Harney County, Ore., roughly 75 percent of land is federally owned.
2.) The key witness against them in the first fire was Dwight Hammond’s then-13-year-old grandson, Dusty, who said he and four of his relatives set the fires at his family’s instruction to conceal their illegal deer hunting, and that he nearly died when the flames quickly surrounded him. He said the fires were set because his uncle, Steven Hammond, wanted the evidence of their hunt destroyed. Prosecutors said the fires also were intended to chase away witnesses who’d seen them hunting illegally.
3.) The Hammonds claimed that the second fire was set as a “back fire” on their own property to protect it from wildfires sparked by lightning. But trial testimony showed that the back fires were actually set more than a mile from the Hammonds’ ranch, on federal land.
4.) After a jury convicted both Hammonds of some counts, but was still deliberating on others, the Hammonds accepted the convictions and agreed not to appeal, in exchange for the government not seeking consecutive sentences and dropping the remaining counts. The prosecutor told them they still faced five-year mandatory minimum sentences for the convictions, court transcripts show.
5.) The sentencing was handled four months later by U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan, in his last day on the federal bench after 39 years. He elected to ignore the five-year mandatory minimum terms because he felt it was “grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offenses here,” instead sentencing Dwight Hammond to three months and Steven Hammond to a year and a day. The government appealed, as it routinely does in cases where judges defy mandatory minimums, and a federal appeals court ordered the Hammonds resentenced. A new judge gave them five-year terms in October, and allowed them until January to surrender.
6.) The Hammonds’ lawyer has made it clear publicly that they are not affiliated with the armed group now occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Their lawyers released a statement Monday saying that “Dwight and Steven Hammond respect the rule of law. They have litigated this matter within the federal courts for over five years and, in every instance, have followed the order of the court without incident or violation. ... As the Hammonds have previously stated, they will be reporting to the United States Bureau of Prisons today to serve their sentences.”
"" (o) Federal attorneys, Frank Papagni, hunted down a witness that was not mentally capable to be a credible witness. Dusty Hammond (grandson and nephew) testified that Steven told him to start a fire. He was 13 at the time and 24 when he testified (11 years later). At 24 Dusty had been suffering with mental problems for many years. He had estranged his family including his mother. Judge Hogan noted that Dusty's memories as a 13-year-old boy were not clear or credible. He allowed the prosecution to continually use Dusty's testimony anyway. When speaking to the Hammonds about this testimony, they understood that Dusty was manipulated and expressed nothing but love for their troubled grandson. ""
Say what? They set a back fire to check the fire the Feds had set intentionally to burn lands they grazed their cattle on.
When the feds really want to put the screws to you, they make sure all the evidence is weighted in their favor...
I doubt they are innocent of any wrong doing. I also doubt either sides story as being 100%.
Also, the arguement of occasionally these fires get out of hand is correct, but who ever starts the fire is still responsible and subject to punishment.