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.”