Who Are Dwight and Steven Hammond? Donald Trump Pardons Father and Son

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday

The imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond prompted the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in OR in 2016, led by two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The two OR ranchers were imprisoned in 2012 for arson, in a fire that encroached on Federal lands, and the incident is commonly viewed as a precursor to the Bundy family's infamous stands against the government.

The two men, Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, were convicted in 2012 for setting fire to federal lands where they held grazing rights for their cattle. The government appealed the sentence, and they were later given the maximum terms of five years in prison.

The statement added: "Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency".

The second imprisonment caused a local backlash.

The Hammonds had previously been accused of making death threats against federal officials and were arrested in 1994 after trying to stop federal workers from fencing off a canal at Malheur.

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Sanders recounted the series of events that left the 76-year-old and 46-year-old Hammond father and son sentenced to five years each in prison after an "overzealous appeal" under the Obama administration.

The pardons don't carry huge practical import; the Hammonds had already served most of their sentences.

For decades, land rights has been a thorny issue in western U.S. states, where the federal government owns most of the land.

Protesters who rallied to support the Hammonds included Ammon Bundy, who was part of the self-styled militia that broke into the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016, beginning a 41-day standoff with the US government over how it handles rangelands throughout the Western states.

Tuesday, Trump said evidence at the Hammonds' trial over their responsibility for the fires was conflicting. One of the occupiers, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was shot dead by Oregon State Police during the takeover.

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Dwight Hammond has served about three years of his sentence and Steven Hammond has served about four of his.

U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan said such a lengthy sentence "would not meet any idea I have of justice, proportionality.it would be a sentence which would shock the conscience to me".

The pardons are the latest in a growing list of clemency actions by Trump, who has been using his pardon power with increasingly frequency in recent months. The pair had also coughed up $400,000 to settle a civil suit with the feds.

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