Trump Issues Pardon For Hammonds

July 10, 2018 10:12 AM
Steven Hammond (second from left) and Dwight Hammond (fourth from left) have been pardoned by President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump has pardoned Dwight and Steven Hammond. Announced July 10, the two Oregon ranchers’ case sparked the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January 2016.

The Hammonds were convicted in 2012 of intentionally setting fires on public lands, and the crime carried a minimum prison sentence of five years. However, a sympathetic judge issued much lighter sentences. Federal prosecutors appealed, and the Hammonds were re-sentenced in October 2015.  

The decision sparked a protest from Ammon Bundy and dozens of others, who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the Hammond ranch in southeastern Oregon from Jan. 2 to Feb. 11, 2016, complaining the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach.

Dwight Hammond is now 76 years old and has served approximately three years in prison. Steven Hammond is 49 and has served approximately four years in prison.  They have also paid $400,000 to the United States to settle a related civil suit.

A statement from the White House Press Secretary said, “The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West.  Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.”

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, said in a statement the organization is grateful for the full pardon for the two ranchers.

“The Hammonds were forced to suffer from grave injustice for far too long, and the entire ranching community is relieved that they will be reunited with their families. No rancher undertaking normal agricultural practices should fear spending years in jail at the hands of the federal government,” Lane said.

Back to news



Spell Check

Tante Cindy
Hutchinson, MN
7/13/2018 03:10 AM

  The Hammonds willingly and knowingly sparked fires that damaged large swaths of land endangering lives, including their own. What is more, they refused to take responsibility for their bad actions - something that continues to this day. They neither deserve nor merit such clemency. Their unpaid fines do not touch on the real costs of their wrongful actions. This act of clemency is an insult and affront to every farmer and rancher who acts as a careful and contentious steward of the land. They had the opportunity to avoid most of their prison terms but their irresponsible refusal to acknowledge their responsibility brought them these sentences. This is a sorry day.

Jim Eller
Sun River, MT
7/10/2018 07:05 PM

  This is no more than enabling domestic terrorism. How stupid can Trump be?


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer