An editorial from The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — On Wednesday, Don Blankenship did not get what he wanted. Nor did he get what he deserved.
Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy Company, was given one year in prison, one year supervised release and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety and health standards — a misdemeanor, the proverbial slap on the wrist. His sentence comes six years and one day after an explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners.
In December, Blankenship was found not guilty of the more serious charges of conspiracy to defraud the Mine Safety and Health Administration and lying to investors and federal securities regulators after the explosion. Those charges are felonies and carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Yes, you read that right. In this particular case, laws are on the books that value investor interest over human life.