The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling that sent former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to prison on a conspiracy charge. The decision means that Blankenship will serve out the remainder of his one-year prison term in a California penitentiary. The judges said late last week that the district court committed no reversible error in the proceedings. Many in West Virginia (where Massey Energy was located) and across the country were disappointed in the relatively short sentence to begin with. Blankenship was accused of actively violating mine safety standards to increase production, including intimidating managers and employees and deceiving federal regulators; even murder and manslaughter charges were considered earlier in his case. Massey Energy was the site of the worst mine disaster in decades at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, which killed 29 men.
Read more via WV Public Broadcasting here.