Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The Pardon: Rep. Waldren, Oregon Farm Bureau & H.R. 983
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today released the following statement applauding the pardon of Dwight and Steven Hammond:
“Today is a win for justice, and an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the high desert, rural West. I applaud President Trump for thoroughly reviewing the facts of this case, rightly determining the Hammonds were treated unfairly, and taking action to correct this injustice. “For far too long, Dwight and Steven Hammond have been serving a mandatory minimum sentence that was established for terrorists. This is something that would ‘shock the conscience,’ according to Federal Judge Michael Hogan, who presided over the case and used his discretion in sentencing which later was reversed. As ranchers across eastern Oregon frequently tell me, the Hammonds didn’t deserve a five year sentence for using fire as a management tool, something the federal government does all the time. “Moving forward, I’m encouraging the House Judiciary Committee to act on my legislation to prevent this situation from happening to other ranchers. H.R. 983 would ensure farmers and ranchers are not prosecuted as terrorists for using fire for range-management purposes. “For now, though, I am pleased that Dwight and Steven Hammond will return to their families and ranches in Harney County. I look forward to welcoming them back home to eastern Oregon.”
Oregon Farm Bureau statement on Hammonds pardon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2018, SALEM, OREGON: Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) thanks the president, Congressman Walden, and all of those who worked to end the injustice done to Steven and Dwight Hammond by granting them clemency. While nobody can restore what they’ve lost to this prosecutorial overreach and bureaucratic vendetta, we are happy that this awful chapter will be coming to a close soon. OFB has publicly advocated for the Hammonds, including gathering over 25,000 online signatures, and also supported clemency through officials in Oregon and Washington, D.C. OFB President Barry Bushue said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Steven and Dwight as they get back to the people and the land they love. We will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that this injustice is never repeated.” 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 conscience 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. We agree.
Embedded below is H.R. 983, the Resource Management Practices Protection Act: