Trump to pardon the Hammonds (catalysts for the Bundy stand off)

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by PolishHeadlock, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Steel Belt Platinum Member

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    I do read several right wing blogs. To my knowledge, none of them have made such a claim. It was my impression, and one which @Quipling has helped to dispel.

    It may not seem extraordinary to you that a person could serve out the sentence they received and then be required to serve longer at a later date for the same conviction, but it does to me. I trust quipling's explanation that this is not in fact far out of the ordinary. Persuasion happens, even on Sherdog.
     
  2. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    I don't have an exhaustive list because there are lots of possible errors that can be grounds for an appeal. The government just rarely bothers with them because the sentencing judge has a fair amount of leeway as long as they actually consider an issue and they don't ignore mandatory limits, and the government values convictions over a few months or years on a sentence.

    Here's a brief breakdown of the sentencing process:

    Most sentences are built around a guidelines range that is calculated depending on the defendants criminal history, the severity of the offense, and various enhancements/reductions. Under the guidelines circumstances, the court has a lot of leeway in how they sentence someone. They can go outside the guidelines for various reasons.

    Under those circumstances, challenges usually are along the lines of: the court ignored a relevant factor, misapplied an enhancement/reduction, or didn't really justify why the sentence was outside the guidelines. These challenges are pretty rare from the government, but they'll happen if the court decides to go significantly below the amount in the plea agreement.

    Sometimes, there's a statute or sentencing provision that has a strict limit: mandatory minimums and maximums. At this point, the court still uses the guidelines as a starting point, but the number they select has to be within the strict limit. The court usually doesn't screw this up. When they do, a challenge is common.
     
  3. Hog-train

    Hog-train Brown Belt

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    Well every right wing blog and people like Glenn Beck were (incorrectly) claiming that it was at the time.

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/01/04/glenn-beck-re-sentencing-oregon-ranchers-is-double-jeopardy

    And no it doesn't seem extraordinary at all that they served the rest of their sentence, because it's a mandatory minimum.
     
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  4. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Steel Belt Platinum Member

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    Thank you. I find your responses to my questions informative and persuasive.
     
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  5. IngaVovchanchyn

    IngaVovchanchyn Steel Belt Platinum Member

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  6. gatchaman

    gatchaman Brown Belt

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    The pardon is just for three reasons:
    The re-imprisoning of the Hammonds constitutes double jeopardy.
    The extra time added on to the sentence was for terrorism, and nobody is describing the act as terrorism but rather as arson to destroyed evidence of poaching.
    No humans were killed or injured by the fires.

    The decision by Obama to not prosecute government workers who engaged in torture was unjust, and there are innocent victims, who were killed or harmed (including Americans Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel), of this unjust decision.

    Trump has compounded this injustice by making one of the workers, who destroyed evidence of torture (not of poaching, of torture!), the director of the CIA.
     
  7. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Follow-up:. A quick search found three modern Scotus cases in which the government appealed a sentence.

    One, Pepper v. US, had the government appeal the initial 24-month sentence (sentencing range of 97-121 months) and first resentencing. Scotus sent it back. The defendant appealed the second resentencing (65 months), and scotus sent it back again. No idea what happened after, but Pepper had completed his 24 month sentence when he was resentenced to 65 months.

    In another, Gall, the defendant was sentenced to no time in prison and 36 months in probation (guidelines were for about 3-4 years in prison) Government appealed but ultimately lost because the district court had a good enough reason.

    The third, Koon, dealt with the sentences for police brutality of some of the police officers implicated in the Rodney King beating. Government mostly won their appeal but it was complicated with lots of issues.
     
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  8. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    It doesn't, though.
    The extra time was not "added on" for a separate offense.

    It was the remainder of the mandatory minimums of the crime for which they were convicted. People are calling it "arson" "poaching" and "destruction of evidence" because they were convicted of arson. They were sentenced under an "anti-terrorism" statute, although there is a more apt description than "terrorism." It's true, its not what we think of as terrorism. That is because the way we use the word has substantially changed in the last two decades, and the statute in question, AEDPA, is from 1996. It provides for a five year mandatory sentence for someone convicted of arson on federal lands , because burning down government property was the sort of thing people used to think of as "terrorism."

    There are lots of old state and federal laws that refer to things as "terrorism" that we no longer recognize as terrorism. I had one case that dealt with a 1976 "terrorism" statute. In 2003, the same crime was renamed to "aggravated assault" (it dealt with using a weapon to intimidate a group of people-he fired a gun near or at a crowd that he didn't want near his lawn).
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018 at 11:23 AM
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  9. gatchaman

    gatchaman Brown Belt

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    The acts of the Hammonds were reconsidered as terrorism. To me, this is double jeopardy. The original prosecution should have mead the case that the Hammonds acted as terrorists.

    Additionally, do you think that the Hammonds committed terrorism? If not, then the law is unjust (and needs to be remade), and the pardon is just.

    I would appreciate your input on the part that you did not quote from my original post. Here it is again:
    The decision by Obama to not prosecute government workers who engaged in torture was unjust, and there are innocent victims, who were killed or harmed (including Americans Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel), of this unjust decision. Trump has compounded this injustice by making one of the workers, who destroyed evidence of torture (not of poaching, of torture!), the director of the CIA.
     
  10. Pessimystic

    Pessimystic Asteroid Belt

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    Oh, please. When you guys have an aneurism over the pardons Obama gave, maybe I'll take it a little more seriously, until then, enjoy your chapped ass.
     
  11. Hog-train

    Hog-train Brown Belt

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    You're incorrect.

    By law, arson on federal land carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. That's not the terrorism charge.

    And saying no humans were killed is IRRELEVANT. You're just trying to minimize the crime.

    The sentencing was for arson. Not killing someone with arson, which would then be a murder charge as well.

    “Congress sought to ensure that anyone who maliciously damages United States’ property by fire will serve at least 5 years in prison. These sentences are intended to be long enough to deter those like the Hammonds who disregard the law and place fire fighters and others in jeopardy.”

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank R Papagni, Jr
     
  12. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    They weren't "reconsidered as terrorism." The "original prosecution" made the case for "terrorism" at the initial sentencing hearing.

    Here is what happened:

    They pleaded guilty mid-trial to committing arson on federal land. The guilty plea included a clause recognizing that the federal government would seek the five-year mandatory minimum under AEDPA (the "terrorism" statute) because the offense conduct involved the wilfull destruction of federal property, etc. The government sought the five year mandatory minimum at the initial sentencing. The district court agreed that it was applicable on the facts, but applying it in this instance would be a violation of the eighth amendment because five years for arson would be cruel and unusual. The government appealed and the ninth circuit held that five years for arson was not cruel or unusual. The Hammonds appealed and Scotus decided that the appeal lacked merit.

    Double jeopardy is danger of being punished twice for the same offense.

    Here, they were punished once for the same offense. The dispute was the length of the punishment-they received credit for the time already served.

    I believe that they did the thing (destruction of federal property via arson to interfere with government processes, etc) that AEDPA has a 5-year mandatory minimum punishment for.

    I agree that is not something that we would call "terrorism." I do not think the label is important. Especially because AEDPA was a massive overhaul of sentencing (among other things) and nobody seriously considers all of the cases it affects to be "terrorism" cases, even though it has terrorism in the name. The relevant question is whether they did the thing it labeled or mislabeled.

    Let me ask you this:
    We agree that punching a stranger and taking his stuff is a crime. Suppose a law was named the "anti-murder act" and inexplicably defined murder, for the purpose of that law, as "punching a stranger and taking his stuff", punishable with 3 years in prison. If someone punched a stranger and stole his stuff, would you find his three-year sentence unjust because he do what we believe to be a murder?

    I ignored it because it's not relevant to the topic except to the extent that it's a perceived injustice by the government. Vance and Ertel (allegedly) were being illicitly detained and tortured outside of the United States and filed habeas petitions. They were unconnected to the Hammonds, who were convicted and imprisoned in the United States, and whose case was on direct appeal.
     
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  13. gatchaman

    gatchaman Brown Belt

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    You have not quoted my entire original post as well.

    I would appreciate your input on the part that you did not quote from my original post. Here it is again:
    The decision by Obama to not prosecute government workers who engaged in torture was unjust, and there are innocent victims, who were killed or harmed (including Americans Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel), of this unjust decision. Trump has compounded this injustice by making one of the workers, who destroyed evidence of torture (not of poaching, of torture!), the director of the CIA.

    Did any of the torturers or the people who destroyed evidence of torture deserve to spend even one day in a cage? Who is really trying to minimize crime here?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018 at 10:42 AM
  14. gatchaman

    gatchaman Brown Belt

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    In answer to your question, if the law does not accurately describe the crime, then the law should be changed.

    Were people only allegedly tortured? Did torture actually happen? Was evidence of torture destroyed?
     
  15. spamking

    spamking Proud Okie/Type 01 FFL Dealer

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    Just like every other politician . . .
     
  16. Limbo Pete

    Limbo Pete Super Samoderator Belt Staff Member Senior Moderator

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  17. spamking

    spamking Proud Okie/Type 01 FFL Dealer

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    True . . . but they don't let private citizens leasing Federal land set them without authorization though do they?
     
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  18. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    The law accurately describes the crime committed, but uses a term that would be inaccurate in conventional use. The question was "would the sentence under that law be unjust?" not "should the law be changed (to more closely reflect conventional definitions)?" The latter does not answer the former.

    I said "allegedly" because their case was dismissed before reaching the fact-finding stage at which evidence and sworn testimony would be gathered, so all we have are allegations. It is possible-very likely-that their allegations were true. Allegedly is still the correct term here.
     
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  19. gatchaman

    gatchaman Brown Belt

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    The law does not describe the crime because the Hammonds are not terrorists. The original judge was correct that the punishment was cruel, and the law should be changed. Should the minimum sentence for burning government grass and deer carcases (with no human harmed) be more than the minimum sentence for rape?

    Should any government worker spend even one day in jail for the government torture program and the destruction of evidence of the torture program?
     
  20. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    You are conflating the title of the act with what it actually describes. It describes arson on federal property, which the Hammonds did.

    No, being imprisoned five years for arson is not "cruel and unusual." An action that can and did endanger people and cause lots of damage? Five years is normal.

    Setting aside your silly attempt to minimize the crime, your premise is wrong. Five years is not more than the mandatory minimum for rape in Oregon, which starts at 6 years, 3 months, and goes up from there, with higher minimums for different factors. In the federal system, someone with no criminal history would generally get at least nine years for rape.

    Personally, I think mandatory minimums are bad policy. That doesn't make them "cruel and unusual" or mean that the Hammonds were unjustly sentenced.

    Nonsequitor. Please start a different thread if you want to discuss a different topic.
     
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