DOJ opposes overturning coal baron’s conviction

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Justice says a federal court should not overturn the conviction of former coal baron Don Blankenship.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, prosecutors argued Friday Blankenship has not proved information was withheld from his 2015 trial and opposed Blankenship’s request for an evidentiary hearing to have his conviction thrown out.

The 40-page legal brief is the first public response from the DOJ since Blankenship first asked for his conviction be vacated earlier this year.

Blankenship is the former CEO of Massey Energy, which owned a mine where a 2010 explosion killed 29 workers. He spent a year in federal prison for safety violations related to the explosion.

His conviction was upheld by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a further appeal.

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