Saturday, January 28, 2017

Don Blankenship, A Human Piece of ________ Loses His Appeal; His Actions Resulted in the Death of Miners

Is He Sorry?  Of Course Not, He's the Victim in His Mind

Coal mine exec Don Blankenship was convicted of violating mine safety rules that ultimately resulted in the loss of life of 29 of his miners.  A trial court found that for years Mr. Blankenship circumvented and ignored safety rules because it was cheaper to pay the fines than to fix the problems.  Of course the loss of life for 29 miners was just an inconvenience to Mr. Blankenship, didn't hurt him in his nice executive office.

Now an appeals court has turned down his appeal of his conviction and he has to serve, get this, a whole year, or about 12 days for each death he caused.  He was convicted of a misdemeanor.

"MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court affirmed the criminal conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on Thursday in connection with the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the concerns of coal industry associations that Blankenship's conviction would set a new precedent putting many other coal executives at risk of being criminally prosecuted for common safety violations at their companies.
It was always the intention of Congress, the court said, to impose this risk and thus prevent mine operators from paying inexpensive fines rather than making expensive safety improvements.
The court said the evidence shows Massey was repeatedly cited for safety violations at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch coal mine before the 2010 explosion that killed 29 men. In 2009 alone, the U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration identified 549 violations there, the court noted.
Blankenship was aware of violations, receiving daily reports, Judge James Wynn wrote. Many concerned improper ventilation and accumulation of combustible materials.
"Notwithstanding the numerous citations and warnings, defendant has a 'policy to invariably press for more production even at mines that he knew were struggling to keep up with the safety laws,'" Wynn wrote. Chief Judge Roger Gregory and Senior Judge Andre Davis agreed."
Blankenship's reaction to all of this, remorse? sorrow? asking for forgiveness? No.

"Blogging from a federal prison in California, he has called himself an "American political prisoner."

Does Blankenship feel anything for this woman? No, not really.

"He didn't get anything what he deserved," said Pam Napper, whose son, nephew and brother died. Her son left a 19-month-old daughter, who's now 9 years old and often asks what her father was like. "It was a slap on the hand."

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