Pardon The Hammonds
by Shari Dovale
The story of Dwight and Steven Hammond is known throughout the country as a travesty of justice.
These rural Oregon ranchers remain in jail over what can be called ‘Double Jeopardy’. Wrongly convicted through what appeared to be government manipulation, the men served the time that the judge ordered for them. The government then went back and appealed the sentence and demanded they serve additional time.
The case sparked outrage among the west. Bringing dozens of people to the small community of Burns, Oregon, the return of these men to prison began the Malheur Wildlife Refuge protest in January 2016.
President Trump has an opportunity to correct this injustice. We are told that the request for pardon of the Hammonds is sitting on the President’s desk in the White House. Additionally, there are multiple petitions, with thousands of signatures, asking for that pardon.
Protect the Harvest submitted a letter that includes the following:
We, the undersigned, strongly advocate for the rule of law. We believe that impositions of arbitrary and capricious rules and regulations singling out one rancher is inconsistent with the rule of law. The government clearly engaged in selective criminal and civil prosecutions of the Hammonds as terrorists for accidental fires when there is ample evidence the BLM and USFWS had for decades been attempting to drive the Hammonds out of business and off the land as they had with numerous other ranchers in the ever expanding Mahler Wildlife Refuge. The punitive double imprisonment of the Hammonds is especially troubling in light of multiple documented cases of Oregon BLM employees starting controlled burns or backfires which “accidentally” spread to burn thousands of acres of both federal and private land and structures. Those employees remain unpunished and property owners uncompensated for lost property.
For the rule of law to mean anything in this country it must be applied equally to everyone—not selectively to private citizens for ulterior motives. Federal employees receive immunity for the very same act for which the Hammonds were charged criminally and sent to prison in a manner even the trial judge found to be egregious. Even more troubling is the long history in the Hammond case, and others, of federal administrative and prosecutorial powers being weaponized in what appears to be a concerted effort by the BLM, aided by the Department of Justice, to take property without compensation and extort exorbitant fines from law abiding ranchers. While government abuse of power is not uncommon, it is uncommon for a 78-year old man and his son, both of whom have exemplary records, to be sent to prison as domestic terrorists for an accidental fire.
We respectfully request the Trump administration to review the pattern of persecution, and selective and malicious prosecution of Dwight and Steve Hammond. We respectfully request that the Inspector Generals of the DOJ and DOI, or an unbiased third party, review the pattern of malicious prosecution, fraud, and corruption which taints this prosecution, giving rise to the appearance of a sanctioned federal persecution for the purpose of obtaining private property without just compensation—in direct contravention of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Please sign one of the below petitions to add your voice:
Follow this link to sign the White House Petition to pardon the Hammonds: URL: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/pardon-dwight-and-steven-hammond
Also note, you’ll receive a signature confirmation email. It is important to send that back to verify your signature. Thank you!
There is another petition on Change.org here: Pardon Steven Hammond and Dwight Hammond
Please get involved and add your signature.
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