OVEC Founder’s Statement on Blankenship Verdict

A statement by OVEC founder Dianne Bady on the breaking news that the jury in the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has reached its verdict after ten days of deliberation:

Don Blankenship got off on the most legally serious charge — securities fraud —  which carried a penalty of up to thirty years.

For those of us who’ve been fighting the power of Big Money for decades, this is a painful reminder that in the “official” view, lying to the powers of Big Money is a much bigger offense than is conspiring to essentially make it possible for miners to be killed.

Don Blankenship got the best lawyers money could buy, and they know how to work the jury. For instannce, the Charleston Gazette-Mail notes, “But during one short cross-examination, defense lawyer Eric Delinsky managed to get the government’s securities expert to say the name “Obama” more than three dozen times to a jury drawn from a state where the president remains very unpopular.”

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3 Comments

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  1. “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Fred Bastiat

  2. Wilma Lee Steele

    Beautifully written Diane. Thank you for for wisdom and continued leadership for things that matter most. I think many families need prayer to go forward on their own higher path. Regardless of what is fair, Don has taken too much from their lives already.

    Don has family that I really like. They have been hurting too, thought that was his fault. I care about all the innocent that have suffered over this.
    I have been blessed with wonderful friends.

  3. My take too. More disgusting than the weak verdict–a maximum of one year in jail after 27 days of testimony and over a week of deliberation–is the fact that the charge he was convicted on, conspiring to interfere with safety inspections, carries one to five years and the charge of defrauding investors is the one that carried the 30 year possible sentence. Does this not say that the property of the wealthy is much more important than the lives of working people?

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