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Coal groups urge close scrutiny of Blankenship conviction

Don Blankenship leaves the federal courthouse in Charleston last year during his criminal trial.

Lawyers for coal industry lobby organizations in West Virginia and two other states are urging a federal appeals court to closely scrutinize the criminal conviction of Don Blankenship, saying the prosecution of the former Massey CEO wrongly puts any coal executive at risk of criminal liability.

Attorneys for the West Virginia Coal Association, the Illinois Coal Association and the Ohio Coal Association asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to consider a “friend of the court” brief that echoes some of the central legal arguments made by Blankenship’s legal team in his pending appeal.

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