[TRIANGLE, VA.] United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“I am gratified that Don Blankenship was found guilty of violating mine safety laws and that he received the maximum sentence available for that crime. However, it is outrageous that the most time in prison he can receive as a punishment is one year.
“There were 52 people killed at Massey mines while he was CEO of that company. The penalty he has received means he will get one week per death. That’s a travesty. He orchestrated a scheme to evade mine safety laws, impede enforcement of those laws, provide false information to federal safety inspectors and more, all of which put every miner who worked on any Massey property at risk of losing their lives every day they went to work.
“Far too many of them did, 29 on one terrible day six years ago. Don Blankenship deserves to go to jail, for that is surely where he belongs. And although this sentence will not begin to make him atone for his crimes, there is a higher court he will answer to someday, and I have complete faith that the justice he receives there will be more than adequate.”