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comment by b_b
b_b  ·  2896 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Beyond "Vanilla ISIS" and "Y'all Qaeda": What if the Oregon Ranchers Are Right?

I think two issues are being conflated here:

    There’s a clear argument that the government engaged in an overzealous, vindictive prosecution here. By no stretch of the imagination were the Hammonds terrorists, yet they were prosecuted under an anti-terrorism statute. The government could have let the case end once the men had served their sentences, yet it pressed for more jail time.

I don't know the details of the case, but it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine a prosecutor over charging for a crime in an attempt to get a plea deal. If there' no plea, then the full charge goes into effect. Prosecutors can be ruthless. That said, of course the government is going to fight for the minimum sentence once the guilty verdict comes in. If a precedent is set up that a terrorist can get less than the mandatory minimum, then what's the point of having a statutory minimum? The government has fought tooth and nail over mandatory minimums in countless drug cases. That mandatory minimums exist is of questionable moral value, but as long as they're a thing, the government will fight to protect them.

goobster  ·  2895 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Niggling details, but they were prosecuted under standard federal law. The sentence, however, was affected by anti-terrorism legislation, and the minimum was raised, thereby making their original stint in jail insufficient. The Hammonds fought it, lost, and were returning voluntarily to jail when ranching's answer to the Westboro Baptist Church showed up and derailed the media train...