Walden: Trump ‘seriously considering’ pardon for Hammonds

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — President Donald Trump, according to Congressmen Greg Walden, is “seriously considering” pardoning two ranchers who were convicted of arson in 2012, sparking the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

Walden, in a statement, said Trump called him on Saturday.

“The sentencing of Dwight and Steve Hammond to five years in federal prison is unjust. Period,” Walden said. “Federal Judge Michael Hogan agreed, when he used his discretion to apply more appropriate sentences, calling the mandatory minimum sentence for this case something that would ‘shock the conscious.’”

Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, were convicted of setting fire on federal land and served time — the father 3 months, the son 1 year. But a federal judge later ruled that their terms were too short under U.S. minimum sentencing law and ordered them back to prison for about 4 years each.

Walden, according to the Argus Observer, took to the house floor on June 27 to plead for the pardon. He reiterated that plea in a statement on Sunday. 

“President Trump can right this wrong,” Walden said. “I again strongly urged the President to administer the justice that is long overdue for these eastern Oregon ranchers by granting them a pardon so that they can get back to Harney County and their families.” 

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