Walden seeks pardon for two Oregon ranchers

Dwight and Steven Hammond's prison sentences triggered the armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 7:54 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, has asked President Trump to pardon two ranchers whose prison sentences triggered the armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

The Ontario Argus Observer reports Walden called for the action on the House floor Wednesday, saying "it's time for real justice, and President Trump can administer that."

A jury in Pendleton convicted Dwight and Steven Hammond of arson in 2012. Prosecutors said the men had started a blaze to destroy evidence of game violations.

The Hammonds were tried under a statute that includes a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years in prison. A federal judge went against the guidelines and imposed a lighter penalty.

But prosecutors appealed and won, negating the reduced sentences. The Hammonds were returned to prison in 2016.

Protesters led by Ammon Bundy seized the wildlife refuge for nearly six weeks after a rally in support of the Hammonds.

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