The Bundys think enough of this to warrant a sit-in in a federal facility.  The Hammonds already turned themselves in to serve the remainder of their lengthened sentence. I know you can’t re-prosecute someone for the same crime as per the double jeopardy taboo. I don’t know if changing the sentence of an already convicted person 1) is double jeopardy, and 2) if it isn’t, if it is even legal anyway. The statute requiring a minimum of five years was there before the conviction; the judge simply failed to make sure the sentence complied. Now I know that if a law gets beefed up to put a longer term upon the convicted, that new harsher sentence only takes effect upon those convicted after the bill becomes law, and does not apply to older convictions. There may be something in that idea which can fight against this appellate decision to re-sentence. Small towns being what they are, extended relatives of the Hammonds testified against them in the trial, pointing out that they were free and easy with their duties, and even doing them on days when burning was forbidden.

Now arson is a powerful word which carries felony status with it. Law dictionaries vary with the modern term (common law meant the burning of another’s house), but universally it involves the destruction of improvements by fire on another’s land, or defrauding an insurer whether the improvement was theirs or yours. Controlled burns, despite being burns, are seen as a beneficial turn for the fallow area. The Hammond ranch land was burned to better it; I cannot see the unimproved federal land being called anything worthy of the term damaged. I’m curious as to how they ended up with an arson conviction vs. damage to public property, with even that a stretch. If anything, a stiff fine to discourage future carelessness, but sitting in prison?

The press won’t print anything objective, and one has to glean from commenters. It’s like heating a 5 gallon stock pot of water, then throwing a potato into it and presto, it’s potato soup.