DeChristopher was sentenced yesterday to two years and $10,000 fine. DeChristopher was charged with disrupting a BLM auction (of oil and gas rights). The sentence seems excessive. One reason is that the auction was itself invalid -- subsequent litigation resulted in voiding of all of the bids at the auction (because ot was not properly organized). The upshot of that decision (by a court) is that no one in fact could have been deprived of a successful bid or could have paid more than otherwise. DeChristopher is, as far as I can tell, the only person ever charged with failing to pay for the bids, although it is a common occurrence that bidders in fact do not make payment. It is also a long sentence because DeChristopher in fact tried to make the required payments but the government refused his tenders. It is hard for me to see this as a legitimate prosecution and the sentence appropriate. (I don't understand the litigation strategy -- why was the selective prosecution defense built around race cases instead of speech and the absence of any other prosecutions ever?)
The contrast with sentencing of grave robbers and looters is noteworthy. The folks from Blanding who stole from federal land, looting grave sites and other Indian sites received nothing more than probation, and none received a fine remotely close to $10,000.