US Appeals Court Affirms Don Blankenship's 2015 Conviction


Don Blankenship's attempts to overturn has 2015 conviction associated with the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster were unsuccessful Tuesday.


The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling Tuesday. The three judge panel affirmed Blankenship's conviction.


Blankenship was found guilty of a misdemeanor mine safety conspiracy charge stemming from the 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch that killed 29 miners.


Blankenship contended that interviews with Massey Energy employees demonstrated a bias from federal regulators. The material was not disclosed during preparation for trial.


Judges said the withheld documents presented a serious matter, but also concluded the material would not have changed the outcome of the trial.


The explosion at Upper Big Branch is regarded as on of the worst mining disasters in the country. The Mine Safety and Health Administration concluded safety violations contributed to the explosion.

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