President Trump Pardons Cattle Ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond

Trump pardons Oregon ranchers at center of 40-day standoff

Steven Hammond is 49 and has served approximately four years in prison.

"The federal judge who heard the Hammonds" case, Michael Hogan, said in his ruling that a five-year prison sentence is "grossly disproportionate to the severity of (petitioners") offenses.' He added that it does "not meet any idea I have of justice, proportionately" and "would shock the conscious to me.' Hogan also noted that the 1996 Anti-Terrorism & Effective Death Penalty Act was never meant to apply to ranchers simply trying to protect their land".

Trump signed full pardons for Dwight Lincoln Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, a father-son team convicted in 2012 on two counts of arson on federal land in connection with fires in 2001 and 2006.

Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the environmental group Center for Western Priorities, argued in a statement that by pardoning the Hammonds, Trump has "sided with lawless extremists who believe that public land does not belong to all Americans".

The second imprisonment caused a local backlash.

In its statement Tuesday, the White House called the appeal "overzealous" and the resulting sentence "unjust".

The pardons don't carry huge practical import; the Hammonds had already served most of their sentences.

The standoff in support of the Hammonds was led by Ammon Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.

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Though the initial goal for the GoFundMe was $15,000, the campaign has already surpassed $43,000 and is trending on the site. Rodriguez, who doesn't understand English, still has no idea why he was attacked, his grandson, Erik Mendoza, told KCBS .

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.

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. Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, a key protester according to The Chicago Tribune, was fatally shot on January 26 by Oregon State Police.

In its statement announcing the pardon, the White House said, "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".

But critics say the president could be ignoring valid claims for clemency as he works outside the typical pardon process, focusing on cases brought to his attention by friends, famous people and conservative media pundits.

Trump came to a similar conclusion, with the White House noting that both men have now served years in prison and paid $400,000 to settle a related civil suit. Her office appealed the lighter sentences because she said the trial judge didn't have discretion to depart from a mandatory minimum sentence.

Tuesday, Trump said evidence at the Hammonds' trial over their responsibility for the fires was conflicting. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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