Tuesday, 10 July 2018

President Donald Trump pardons Oregon ranchers who sparked 2016 militia standoff



President Donald Trump has pardoned two Oregon cattle ranchers whose sentence for arson led armed militiamen to seize control of a wildlife refuge in 2016.

 
Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son Steven Hammond, 49, were convicted in 2012 after a prescribed burn on their land spread to nearby public lands in 2001.


The pair served time in jail, but a judge later ruled that they must serve their full five-year sentence.


The ruling sparked anti-government protests that left one rancher dead.


"The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community and have widespread support from their neighbours, local law enforcement and farmers and ranchers across the West," the White House said in statement on Tuesday.
"Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.''


The Hammonds had claimed that the fire was to fend off invasive species, but prosecutors alleged that it was set to cover up evidence of illegal deer poaching and that it posed a grave risk to firefighters.





BBC     News.