In November of 2015 father and son ranchers from Harney County, Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond, were convicted by a federal court and hauled off to prison to fulfill mandatory sentences on charges of ‘terrorism.” Their alleged crimes were setting prescriptive burns on their own grazing allotments in order to control noxious plants, reduce accidental fire fuel, and restore the soil to improve forage for their cattle. Over the years, a couple of those burns spread outside of their intended boundaries and went onto land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). No structures were burned and no property was harmed, nevertheless, the agency charged Dwight and Steven Hammond under federal terrorism statutes for the minor damage caused to BLM property.
The District judge who first sentenced them asserted that it would constitute ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ for the Hammonds to have to serve mandatory 5-year terms. Subsequently, the Hammonds received ‘lighter’ sentences than those required by the terrorism statute under which they were convicted. Years later, a federal prosecutor revisited the case, and determined that the time served Dwight and Steven Hammond previously spent in prison for minor damage caused to ‘federal property’ was insufficient, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sent Steven, and his elderly father Dwight, back to prison to fulfill the mandatory 5 year terms.
To this day, Dwight and Steven Hammond remain in a federal prison for literally giving proper care to the forage on their ranch by conducting prescriptive burns to promote the health of the soil and vegetation upon which their cattle grazed. Law-abiding family men, whose family has run cattle in Harney County, Oregon for decades, Dwight and Steven’s left behind wives and children to manage their ranch and try to make ends meet. Susie Hammond is 75 and worries constantly for the health and well-being of her husband, Dwight, who is 74, and has several years yet to serve of his federal prison sentence.
Please sign this petition to Congress and to President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and other members of his Executive Cabinet, to grant immediate clemency to Dwight and Steven Hammond, and exonerate them of all charges under federal terrorism statutes.
The editors of Free Range Report will compile your electronic signatures and names to be sent to key members of Congress, as well as the White House and the office of the United States Attorney General.
Please help us correct this grave injustice.