Trump Pardons Ranchers In Case That Inspired 2016 Occupation

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has pardoned two ranchers whose case sparked the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted in 2012 of intentionally and maliciously setting fires on public lands. The arson crime carried a minimum prison sentence of five years, but a sympathetic federal judge, on his last day before retirement, decided the penalty was too stiff and gave the father and son much lighter prison terms. Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in October 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum. The decision sparked a protest from Ammon Bundy and dozens of others, who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the Hammond ranch in southeastern Oregon from Jan.

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