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Two Eastern Oregon ranchers — whose incarceration helped inspire the refuge takeover in Malheur County — could be in line for presidential pardons.
Father and son Dwight and Steven Hammond have been in a federal prison since 2016 after they were re-sentenced to the five-year minimum for an arson conviction.
The article goes on to state the following:
The Hammonds initially asked for clemency from President Barack Obama, and their request regained traction under President Trump.
Protect the Harvest, a nonprofit representing agriculture and hunting interests, learned the request for clemency has come under review in recent weeks by the office of the White House Counsel Don McGahn. That’s according to Dave Duquette, the group’s national strategic planner.
“If the President decides to do this, it will be a very fast-paced situation,” said Duquette.
The Hammonds were convicted by a jury in 2012 of setting fire to rangeland close to their ranch near Burns, Ore. The fire burned approximately 129 acres.
A federal judge initially sentenced Dwight to three months and Steven, one year in prison, with three years of post-prison supervision each.
However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the more lenient sentences at the urging of the U.S. prosecutors, saying the ranchers had to complete the full five-year mandatory minimum terms for arson required by federal law, reasoning that “given the seriousness of arson, a five-year sentence is not grossly disproportionate to the offense.”
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