I just got word recently that President Trump has given the Hammonds, whose arrest and reincarceration provoked the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon at the beginning of 2016 by Ammon Bundy and several others, a full pardon. This make them the 5th and 6th persons that Trump has pardoned since becoming president, others include documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and former Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio. Dwight and Stephen Hammond were convicted of arson on federal land in 2012 when the Hammonds were conducting a controlled burn on their ranch that got onto federal land and destroyed over 100 acres and were sentenced under a 1996 anti-terrorism law that carried a minimum sentence of 5 years. They ended up serving less than the time required because the district judge who sentenced them believed the minimum sentence was too harsh and so they only served short stints in prison. The evidence regarding the Hammond's responsibility for the fire was conflicting and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges. However federal prosecutors appealed the case and a federal court overturned the 2012 judgement. The Hammonds were forced back into prison in 2016 to serve the rest of their sentences.
The real travesty in this case was that the Hammonds were essentially tried as terrorists over a fire that got out of hand. And I firmly believe they were charged like this simply because the portion of land the Hammond's accidently destroyed belonged to the federal government. Terrorism implies a deliberate attempt to use terror and fear to influence or manipulate a citizenry or a government, and what happened in the Hammond case simply doesn't fit that description. If anything this is just another example of how malicious our government has become. Tossing a father and son into cages as terrorists for having the audacity to desecrate, albeit accidently, the oh-so-sacred land of the government, land the government, constitutionally, has no business owning in the first place. People who deliberately set fire to other peoples houses don't receive this kind of treatment. I also firmly believe the Hammond's were reincarcerated in part as a means for the feds to entrap the Bundy's, who were close friends with the Hammond's, and make them do something stupid enough to discredit in the eyes of the public and get their revenge for the black eye they got at Bunkerville.