The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

Blankenship's Maximum Sentence Was the Right Thing to Do


Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Today, a federal District Court judge sentenced former Massey Energy executive Don Blankenship to a year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards. Blankenship was the chief executive officer when an explosion killed 29 workers six years ago.

With heavy hearts, coal miners and their families today can celebrate a modicum of justice, as Don Blankenship receives the maximum jail time for his conspiracy conviction. 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. Hopefully today's sentence signals a new day, when executives can and will be held accountable and put in jail for their crimes.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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