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mine_explosion_appeal_40622.jpg

FILE - In a Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 file photo, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, left, walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse after the jury deliberated for a fifth full day in his trial, in Charleston, W.Va. A federal appeals court has affirmed the conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship in connection with the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the opinion Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, saying it found no reversible errors in trial rulings. (AP Photo/Chris Tilley, File)

mine_explosion_prison_booklet.jpeg

mine_explosion_prison_booklet.jpeg

FILE - In a Wednesday, April 6, 2016 file photo, former Massey CEO Don Blankenship is escorted by Homeland Security officers from the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, W.Va. Blankenship, who was sentenced to a year in jail and a $250,000 fine for his role in the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion, has declared himself an “American political prisoner” on his blog, blaming others for the 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men and led to the former West Virginia coal operator’s imprisonment. The ex-Massey Energy CEO said he plans to distribute 250,000 copies of the 67-page diatribe in booklet form. (F. Brian Ferguson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP, File)

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mine_explosion_sentencing.jpeg

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship makes his way across Virginia Street in Charleston, W.V., before entering the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse for his sentencing on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (F. Brian Ferguson/The Gazette-Mail via AP)

Mine Explosion_Live.jpg

Mine Explosion_Live.jpg

**FILE** West Virginia State Police direct traffic April 5, 2010, at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. (Associated Press)

US Mine Explosion Rep_Live.jpg

US Mine Explosion Rep_Live.jpg

** FILE ** West Virginia State Police direct traffic at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, W.Va., on April 5, 2010. (AP Photo)

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mine_085.JPG

West Virginia State Police direct traffic at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine on Monday, April 5, 2010, in Montcoal, W.Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)** FILE **