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Armed Militia Group Takes Over Federal Building In Oregon...plans To Stay For Years.


Leon Troutsky
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So, they were definitely charged under the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Source: Oregon Supreme Court.

"The district court concluded that Congress did not envision petitioners when, as a part of the Anti- terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, it added a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for damaging property of the United States by means of fire or an explosive in violation of 18 U.S.C. §844(f)(1). It further concluded that imposition of such a sentence would violate the Eighth Amendment because such a sentence was grossly disproportionate to the offense conduct. App. 17. The Ninth Circuit rejected the idea that a five-year mandatory mini- mum term could ever be unconstitutional. App. 9. "

http://landrights.org/or/Hammond/Hammond-v-United-States-Oregon-Petition-for-Writ-of-Certiorari-Filed-June-17-2013.pdf

No apologies necessary. We all show our ignorance sometimes.

Edited by Flip Flop
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So, they were definitely charged under the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Source: Oregon Supreme Court.

"The district court concluded that Congress did not envision petitioners when, as a part of the Anti- terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, it added a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for damaging property of the United States by means of fire or an explosive in violation of 18 U.S.C. §844(f)(1). It further concluded that imposition of such a sentence would violate the Eighth Amendment because such a sentence was grossly disproportionate to the offense conduct. App. 17. The Ninth Circuit rejected the idea that a five-year mandatory mini- mum term could ever be unconstitutional. App. 9. "

http://landrights.org/or/Hammond/Hammond-v-United-States-Oregon-Petition-for-Writ-of-Certiorari-Filed-June-17-2013.pdf

No apologies necessary. We all show our ignorance sometimes.

They were not "charged as terrorists for burning brush on their land". They were charged for arson on federal lands - and they were guilty of that - and sentenced under a law that increased penalties for arson on federal land that was titled the "Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996".

The relevant part of the statute says:

Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to
damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building,
vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or
possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or
agency thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not
more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both.
Here's a link to the statute.
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They were not "charged as terrorists for burning brush on their land". They were charged for arson on federal lands - and they were guilty of that - and sentenced under a law that increased penalties for arson on federal land that was titled the "Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996".

The relevant part of the statute says:

So, you don't think they have an argument that this was an overzealous prosecution. There is nothing that could lead you to agree that a reasonable person could think that this law was not intended for people in these circumstances?

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So, they were definitely charged under the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. Source: Oregon Supreme Court.

"The district court concluded that Congress did not envision petitioners when, as a part of the Anti- terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, it added a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for damaging property of the United States by means of fire or an explosive in violation of 18 U.S.C. §844(f)(1). It further concluded that imposition of such a sentence would violate the Eighth Amendment because such a sentence was grossly disproportionate to the offense conduct. App. 17. The Ninth Circuit rejected the idea that a five-year mandatory mini- mum term could ever be unconstitutional. App. 9. "

http://landrights.org/or/Hammond/Hammond-v-United-States-Oregon-Petition-for-Writ-of-Certiorari-Filed-June-17-2013.pdf

No apologies necessary. We all show our ignorance sometimes.

Ugh. The code section they were charged with, and convicted of violating, is a part of the Anti-Terror and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, but that was a broad law. The specific code section they were convicted of violating is:

"(f)(1) Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both." https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/844

Read the indictment, it's about committing arson and conspiracy to commit arson on federal property. http://landrights.org/or/Hammond/Hammond_superseding-indictment%20May%2017%202012.pdf

It's a broad act that included numerous provisions:

Although controversial for its changes to the law of habeas corpus in the United States (Title I), upheld in Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651 (1997), the AEDPA also contained a number of provisions to "deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, provide for an effective death penalty, and for other purposes" in the words of the bill summary. Provisions include

providing restitution/assistance for victims of terrorism (Title II),

designation of foreign terrorist organizations and prohibitions on funding (Title III),

removal or exclusion of alien terrorists and modifications of asylum procedures (Title IV),

restrictions on nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons (Title V),

implementation of the plastic explosives convention (Title VI),

changes to criminal law involving terrorist (or explosives) offenses, including increased penalties and criminal procedures changes (Title VII),

commissioning a study to determine the constitutionality of restrictions on bomb-making materials (Title VII - A - Sec. 709),

funding changes and jurisdiction clarifications for law enforcement related to terrorism threats (Title VIII),

and miscellaneous provisions in Title IX.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiterrorism_and_Effective_Death_Penalty_Act_of_1996

No apologies necessary. We all show our ignorance sometimes.

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“We all know the devastating effects that are caused by wildfires. Fires intentionally and illegally set on public lands, even those in a remote area, threaten property and residents and endanger firefighters called to battle the blaze” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Billy Williams.

“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.”

http://www.justice.gov/usao-or/pr/eastern-oregon-ranchers-convicted-arson-resentenced-five-years-prison

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So, you don't think they have an argument that this was an overzealous prosecution. There is nothing that could lead you to agree that a reasonable person could think that this law was not intended for people in these circumstances?

For the record, I was completely prepared to apologize and admit to being wrong. But then I read the statute itself and, as MDrake and I explained, realized that they were not charged as terrorists. They were charged for arson and sentenced under a provision of a law with "Anti-Terrorism" in the title. As MDrake explained, the law is broad and is not entirely about terrorism.

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So, you don't think they have an argument that this was an overzealous prosecution. There is nothing that could lead you to agree that a reasonable person could think that this law was not intended for people in these circumstances?

The Appeals Court that just reinstated the 5 year sentences seems to think this law is intended for exactly these type of people.

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The Appeals Court that just reinstated the 5 year sentences seems to think this law is intended for exactly these type of people.

I haven't check into it, but I'm pretty sure that arson on federal lands was already a criminal offense. It looks like the bill in question simply changed the sentencing rules for those convicted of that crime. In other words, they were not convicted for violating the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. They were sentenced under the provision of that bill that increased the penalty. But I could be wrong about that.

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The Appeals Court that just reinstated the 5 year sentences seems to think this law is intended for exactly these type of people.

Yes. The judge in the case sentenced them to much less. His reasoning was that the law wasn't intended for these circumstances. Did the appeals court find that the law was intended for these circumstances or did they find that the punishment was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

I need to read the actual case to see what I think about it. It seems that the facts are whatever anyone thinks will support their side. I don't know. I see plenty of people saying that the Hammonds started the fires on their own land and that the fires spread to Federal Lands. Im not sure that qualifies as malicious. The jury must have thought so. Anyway, Im not arguing about facts that I haven't seen.

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Yes. The judge in the case sentenced them to much less. His reasoning was that the law wasn't intended for these circumstances. Did the appeals court find that the law was intended for these circumstances or did they find that the punishment was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

I need to read the actual case to see what I think about it. It seems that the facts are whatever anyone thinks will support their side. I don't know. I see plenty of people saying that the Hammonds started the fires on their own land and that the fires spread to Federal Lands. Im not sure that qualifies as malicious. The jury must have thought so. Anyway, Im not arguing about facts that I haven't seen.

Here's some background:

http://katu.com/news/local/criminal-history-of-the-hammond-familys-arson-conviction

They were convicted of starting a fire in 2001 to cover up deer they had illegally killed. They were convicted again in 2006 of starting fires to save winter feed despite a federal ban. It wasn't an accident. They didn't start a fire on their land that accidentally spread to federal land. It was done with the intention of bypassing federal law and covering up their illegal behavior.

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Yes. The judge in the case sentenced them to much less. His reasoning was that the law wasn't intended for these circumstances. Did the appeals court find that the law was intended for these circumstances or did they find that the punishment was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

I need to read the actual case to see what I think about it. It seems that the facts are whatever anyone thinks will support their side. I don't know. I see plenty of people saying that the Hammonds started the fires on their own land and that the fires spread to Federal Lands. Im not sure that qualifies as malicious. The jury must have thought so. Anyway, Im not arguing about facts that I haven't seen.

Also, just to be completely open and upfront, the circuit court that overturned the lower court ruling was the ninth circuit court of appeals. The 9th circuit court has a reputation of frequently getting overturned by the Supreme Court.*

*This could be due to the fact that the Supreme Court doesn't take a lot of cases from the ninth circuit (meaning most are upheld on appeal)...but nonetheless, if the Supreme Court takes this case then there is a good chance they will rule against the 9th circuit court.

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Yes. The judge in the case sentenced them to much less. His reasoning was that the law wasn't intended for these circumstances. Did the appeals court find that the law was intended for these circumstances or did they find that the punishment was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

I need to read the actual case to see what I think about it. It seems that the facts are whatever anyone thinks will support their side. I don't know. I see plenty of people saying that the Hammonds started the fires on their own land and that the fires spread to Federal Lands. Im not sure that qualifies as malicious. The jury must have thought so. Anyway, Im not arguing about facts that I haven't seen.

The convictions themselves were not appealed, the sentences were. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the mandatory minimum five year sentences for arson were not disproportionate in violation of the 8th Amendment. http://www.landrights.org/or/Hammond/Hammonds%20Appeal%209th%20district%20court.pdf

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Yea. I found the testimony of the nephew. That sounds like a malicious fire. They also told the younger ones to keep their mouths shut. Im not a fan of mandatory sentencing, but that doesn't make them unconstitutional.

I agree about mandatory sentencing and hope this opens a dialogue about those laws and the damage they've done to people's lives over the years. We have people serving ridiculous sentences for simple marijuana possession because of mandatory sentencing laws.

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I agree about mandatory sentencing and hope this opens a dialogue about those laws and the damage they've done to people's lives over the years. We have people serving ridiculous sentences for simple marijuana possession because of mandatory sentencing laws.

The 9th circuit cited some outrageous sentences in their opinion on this case.

The examples it cited included "a sentence of fifty years to life under California's three-strikes law for stealing nine videotapes," "a sentence of twenty-five years to life under California's three-strikes law for the theft of three golf clubs," "a forty-year sentence for possession of nine ounces of marijuana with the intent to distribute," and "a life sentence under Texas's recidivist statute for obtaining $120.75 by false pretenses." If those penalties did not qualify as "grossly disproportionate," the appeals court reasoned, five years for accidentally setting fire to federal land cannot possibly exceed the limits imposed by the Eighth Amendment.

https://reason.com/blog/2016/01/04/rancher-arson-case-that-inspired-oregon

EDIT: yea Mdrake, I see that you have posted the 9th Circuits opinion and I know that I could have quoted the court. But, this is the interwebs and that would be to sound a series of logic. I should quote a celebrity before it gets to legit in here.

Edited by Flip Flop
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Yes. The judge in the case sentenced them to much less. His reasoning was that the law wasn't intended for these circumstances. Did the appeals court find that the law was intended for these circumstances or did they find that the punishment was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

I need to read the actual case to see what I think about it. It seems that the facts are whatever anyone thinks will support their side. I don't know. I see plenty of people saying that the Hammonds started the fires on their own land and that the fires spread to Federal Lands. Im not sure that qualifies as malicious. The jury must have thought so. Anyway, Im not arguing about facts that I haven't seen.

This is me being bitter, but I wish that same discretion was used in the millions of petty drug convictions that have lead to so many in one particular community being screwed for life.

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If this armed "militia" was any shade of brown and took over a government building while proclaiming that they are "prepared to die", they would have been quickly classified as violent terrorists, the building would have been stormed by Special Forces and everyone would have been eliminated with extreme prejudice (oh the irony).

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If this armed "militia" was any shade of brown and took over a government building while proclaiming that they are "prepared to die", they would have been quickly classified as violent terrorists, the building would have been stormed by Special Forces and everyone would have been eliminated with extreme prejudice (oh the irony).

Pretty much. It's great to be white.
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