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EXCLUSIVE: Patriot groups fighting to keep Oregon ranchers out of jail say calling forth 'militias' will be next move

Hammond Family

(NaturalNews) Patriotic groups and others fighting to keep two Oregon ranchers – a father and son – out of federal prison because they believe the sentences are unconstitutional, have said that they may be forced to call in militias if local and state officials don't respond to their "redress of grievance" complaint.

"I don't see this deescalating until [their] rights are restored," one person familiar with the situation and the redress of grievance told Natural News.

As Natural News reported exclusively, Dwight Hammond, 73, and his son Steven Hammond, 46, were convicted in 2012 under a federal anti-terrorism statute, of committing arson on federal land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. Both were charged in connection with a 2001 fire, and Steven in connection with another fire in 2006. Though the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 calls for a minimum sentence of five years in prison, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan – now retired – gave them lighter sentences because he did not believe they had exhibited malicious intent.

Federal prosecutors appealed Hogan's three-month sentence for Dwight Hammond, and one-year sentence for Steven Hammond – which both had served – because they were far short of the minimum. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ordered them re-sentenced in October, which they duly were.

Redress, then demand, then ...

In response, concerned groups filed their redress with Sheriff David Ward, Commissioner Dan Nichols, Commissioner Pete Runnels, Justice of the Peace Donna Thomas, District Attorney Tim Colahan, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Gov. Kate Brown.

"After extensive research on the Hammond case, We the People of these States United have reason to believe that Dwight and Steven Hammond were not afforded their rights to due process as protected by the United States Constitution," the document begins.

Should that prove futile, however – as many observers and those familiar with the Hammonds' case believe it will – supporters are prepared to up the ante in a bid to convince state officials to act. The officials were given five days to respond; as of this publication, none had done so.

Failing the redress, "we will do one more notice – a notice of demand – demanding that the Hammonds' rights be restored, and that will most likely be ignored as well," the source told Natural News.

"We will be calling people to assemble after that," the source continued.

When asked to further define what was meant by "assemble," the source said, "We're going to call militia groups, patriot groups, individuals from across the country to unite ... for the purpose of peacefully assembling – at first."

'We are exhausting all measures'

When pressed further about what reason people would be given to assemble, the source said, "We haven't gotten to that point yet. We hope we do not have to go to that measure. That's why we're exhausting all our prudent measures.

"But basically, if you want an answer to that question, it will be to restore the Constitution back to the people" of the county, the source continued, saying a meeting with locals was scheduled for this week to discuss next moves.

"We want everybody to see and hear the dialogue between what [federal] officials say happened and what really happened, and then the people can make their decision" regarding the Hammonds – who have said they did not commit arson, but instead attempted to burn off underbrush and, in 2006, light a backfire to contain a forest fire that started from a lightning strike, the source said.

According to the redress document, supporters of the Hammonds have a number of issues they want state officials to examine, including potential usurpations of the Constitution regarding their case.

Supporters insist that the mandatory minimum sentence of five years is a violation of the Eighth Amendment's protection against "cruel and unusual" punishment, and that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals violated the Fifth Amendment's protection against double jeopardy, by ordering the Hammonds re-sentenced for the same crime.


Redress of Grievance[PDF]

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