Article 2, Section 2, of the United States Constitution defines one of a handful of powers the President has: “He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”
Due to so few limitations, the rule of such pardons is that the pardon may be given before, during, or after indictment or conviction.
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton concluded, “Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate, that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed.”
Similar to the amazing grace extended by our Creator at the cross of His Son Jesus Christ, our founders understood the power of forgiveness and redemption and they codified it into our Law.
However, there are also times when a pardon is demanded to ensure the rule of law.
You see one of the main functions of an executive or presidential pardon is to act as a constitutional check against an unrestrained federal judiciary.
Such is the case involving Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son Steven Hammond, 49, who were convicted in 2012 after a prescribed burn on their land spread to nearby public lands in 2001.
The Hammonds had claimed that the fire was to fend off invasive species, but prosecutors alleged that it was set to cover up evidence of illegal deer poaching and that it posed a grave risk to firefighters. The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.
The pair then served their time in jail, but Obama’s Justice department wasn’t satisfied with this sentence. So in 2015, after being freed from prison, the Obama DOJ increased the penalty of the crime by classifying, charging, and imprisoning the father and son as terrorists!
According to President Trump, the Obama administration filed an “overzealous appeal” and that “This was unjust.”
Not only was it unjust, but it was also unconstitutional according to the Fifth Amendment which commands the Federal Government that no, “person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
The unconstitutional ruling also sparked many First Amendment protests that left one rancher dead at the hand of federal agents!
The Trump administration concluded that, “Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants of Executive Clemency.”
To conclude, because lethargic and negligent congressmen and women refused to do their jobs by impeaching federal judges like these, there was only one constitutional means to make sure that liberty remained upheld and tyranny was choked.
The President of these United States must uphold his oath of office and check the corrupted judicial branch by issuing a pardon; hence the existence of a constitutional pardon and absolute need for its exercise by President Donald Trump for the Hammond family.