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In Cold Blood — Feds Call for Max Sentence for Former Massey CEO Blankenship


In Cold Blood — Feds Call for Max Sentence for Former Massey CEO Blankenship

Russell Mokhiber

The federal sentencing memo on Don Blankenship is like no other sentencing memo in the history of corporate crime.

Prosecutors want the judge in the case to sentence Blankenship to the maximum one year and $250,000 fine — which prosecutors condemned as a paltry maximum given the nature of the crime.

Blankenship will be sentenced April 6 by Judge Irene Berger.

The former Massey Energy CEO was convicted of violating the nation’s coal mine health and safety laws in connection with the April 2010 explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners.


one year. and people wonder why the CEO class is so lethal (as well as politically active). This kind of legal code mocks the very idea of justice.


Find an abandoned Massey mine, install bars at the shafts, leave food and water for a year and give him some time to contemplate his crimes.


Thank you for the expert history lesson on this subject, Mr. Mokhiber. Between the deaths caused by coal heating up the atmosphere, and specific acts of malfeasance, this industry is a LOT more deadly than "terrorism" or the toll rung up by purported terrorists.

I had no idea the casualty numbers ran this high:

“These catastrophes, terrible as they are, represent only a small fraction of the toll exacted by mining deaths,” prosecutors said. “Since 1900, the earliest year that records are readily available, more than 100,000 workers have been killed in America’s coal mines. The great majority of this loss of life could have been prevented by following well-known principles of mine safety.”


This is a psychopath / sociopath that (there is apparently no 'who' there) verifiably has an alimentary canal, and all of the material accoutrements that go around in the circles that he circles. I say this because there is no demonstrable conscience, one of the most elemental aspects of 'homo sapiens sapiens'. hence the apparent belief that no one else is so inherently endowed. Part of the conviction should be a full independent psychiatric assessment. This in part to discover those wrinkles within that discipline that has failed so miserably to prevent the injuries to society.

This case should go down in history as the instance in which the juridical/legal framework was forced to enter the 21 st century by virtue of people finally addressing the sources of the failings for which this criminal class is guilty, yet has for centuries blamed others, killed, maimed and hired private protection to chuckle all the way to the bank.


They should have been able to try Blankenship for 1st degree murder. It's premeditated and for personal profit. The fact that they couldn't demonstrates that we have the best legal system money can buy: The rich have paid to make their crimes legal.


.. or at least negligent homicide, voluntary manslaughter, or the like ..


It isn't well known, but in Illinois, under some of the richest soil in the world, lie huge coal deposits. 1909 saw what became known as the Cherry Mine Disaster in Cherry, Illinois, 259 men and boys died in a mine fire. Many of the men and boys were Italian immgrants who couldn't speak English. The disaster did lead to the passing of an Illinois Workmen's Compensation Act, and tighter, for the times, mine safety regulations.


Blankenship and other robber barons just like him are still admired by rank and file rubes throughout West Virginia. If it was up to the state representatives, they buy him a steak and a blow job.
West Virginians have become the beggars to their own demise. The state has dozens of Don Blankenships currently removing every mountaintop and poisoning every creek and river. And the best part is that they are all getting tax abatements for the privilege of raping the countryside.
Fear not, for every locust swarm moves on when they done. Once the "mountain state" is as flat as a parking lot, they will move on, to PA, or Kentucky, or Maryland. And the Don Blankenships of the world will be at every stop, peddling snake oil to the rubes


It's hard to call them rubes. It's the desperation of subsistence economics. I lived in mining country in Kentucky for awhile and saw the same thing. Then I got to know them. And they understood it was this or it was destitution. Their choices were poor.

I suspect W Va mining communities might be even worse than what I experienced. When we make it easier for people to do the right thing, there's a good chance they will.

As for the rest, we're in total agreement. It's the capitalists that are to blame here and no one else.


brutal picture. haven't seen that one before. thanks.


the law's long overdue for a "safety" manslaughter category to deal with this kind of business crime. Obviously that would be fought tooth and nail, but hey, a guy can dream.


You forgot a pot to piss in! :yum:


Naw, let him go find a dark corner of the mine to use for his bathroom--just as other animals in captivity do.