Donald Blankenship Sentenced to a Year in Prison in Mine Safety Case

April 6, 2016 4:23 PM

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Donald Blankenship Sentenced to a Year in Prison in Mine Safety Case

Not long ago, it was virtually unthinkable that Mr. Blankenship, whom jurors acquitted of several felony charges, would ever stand before a judge for a sentencing in West Virginia. Mr. Blankenship acknowledged as much on Wednesday, when he said, “I never thought, by the way, that I would be thanking a probation officer because I never expected to have one.”

But after the explosion at Upper Big Branch on April 5, 2010, the authorities turned to a novel approach to prosecute Mr. Blankenship, who possessed deep knowledge of his mines, recorded many telephone conversations with subordinates and received production reports every 30 minutes.

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