small community life

Justice for the Hammonds….

Dwight and Steven Hammond are coming home!

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding
Executive Clemency for Dwight and Steven Hammond

 

Issued on: July 10, 2018

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency (Full Pardons) for Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., and his son, Steven Hammond.  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 evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.

At the Hammonds’ original sentencing, the judge noted that they are respected in the community and that imposing the mandatory minimum, 5-year prison sentence would “shock the conscience” and be “grossly disproportionate to the severity” of their conduct.  As a result, the judge imposed significantly lesser sentences.  The previous administration, however, filed an overzealous appeal that resulted in the Hammonds being sentenced to five years in prison.  This was unjust.

Dwight Hammond is now 76 years old and has served approximately three years in prison.  Steven Hammond is 49 and has served approximately four years in prison.  They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit.  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.  Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.

Photo: Steven, left, and Earlyna Hammond with Steven’s parents, Susie and Dwight Hammond, in a family photo. (Photograph: Susan Doverspike)

 

STATEMENT BY STEWART RHODES:

Justice has finally been done in the Hammond case, which outraged Americans not just out West, but across the nation.   Not only were they political prisoners prosecuted/persecuted by an Obama [In]Justice Department openly hostile to ranchers, but that same Justice Department was outraged when the trial judge dared display having a conscience and compassion – can’t have that!  As the Trump White House statement put it:

At the Hammonds’ original sentencing, the judge noted that they are respected in the community and that imposing the mandatory minimum, 5-year prison sentence would “shock the conscience” and be “grossly disproportionate to the severity” of their conduct.  As a result, the judge imposed significantly lesser sentences.  The previous administration, however, filed an overzealous appeal that resulted in the Hammonds being sentenced to five years in prison.  This was unjust.

Exactly.   It was unjust.  And that injustice has now finally been corrected.  Now, the same thing needs to be done for the men who stood at Bundy ranch who have since been convicted, such as Todd Engel, who is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19, 2018, or those who were coerced into taking plea bargains after being threatened with long prison sentences if they dared go to trial (such as Jerry DeLemus).   All of those prosecutions were politically motivated, and all of them are political prisoners.  We will support such efforts in any way we can.

The pardon power is built right into our Constitution, in Article II, Section 2, Clause 1:

“…he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

That power is there for a reason, and such executive clemency is also a power in the hands of the state governors for the same reason – so that injustices can be corrected in particular cases. It is similar to the power of the jury to acquit even in the face of the law, as was done in the Bundy Malheur case in Oregon. The jury acquitted in that case because the jury could see that those prosecutions were an injustice. Imagine if that had been a bench trial (by judge) instead of by a jury.

The jury can stop injustice on the front end, through acquittal even in the face of the law, and the executive can correct an injustice on the back end through executive clemency (pardon, commutation of sentence), again, even in the face of the law, and despite conviction. Both serve as “safety valves” in our legal system to ensure that justice is done and that injustice is corrected.

Obama gave executive clemency (pardon or commutation of sentence) to 1,927 people, including a convicted terrorist who planted bombs in occupied buildings.   Remember to point that out when leftists howl in anger about this.

For the Republic,

Stewart Rhodes

 

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/president-trump-grants-pardons-for-oregon-ranchers-dwight-and-steven-hammond-1531233558

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/10/politics/hammonds-trump-pardon/index.html

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