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Jailing Blankenship Is the Right Thing to Do

WASHINGTON - Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Today, prosecutors recommended the maximum jail time, one year, for former Massey Energy executive Don Blankenship, who was chief executive officer when an explosion killed 29 workers. Blankenship was found guilty of conspiring to violate safety standards.

For decades, coal company executives have ruthlessly endangered the lives of coal miners, disregarding the law and sure they could escape, at worst, with slap-on-the-wrist penalties. It’s long past time for that era to be put to rest; doing so requires putting coal company executives in jail for their crimes. That is why it is so important that the notorious Don Blankenship be given the maximum jail time for his conspiracy conviction, and why Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Ruby should be applauded for his efforts to secure a maximum sentence.

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