FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Charleston (W.V.) Gazette:The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s appeal of his criminal mine safety conviction, the court announced Tuesday.Justices turned down Blankenship’s petition, including it on a weekly order list of more than 200 cases in which a request for a “writ of certiorari” — the type of order in which the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case — was denied without any reason given or further comment offered.In doing so, the court allowed to stand Blankenship’s conviction for conspiracy to violate federal mine safety and health standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in an April 5, 2010 explosion.“We are pleased with but not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the Blankenship petition,” said U.S. Attorney Carol Casto. “Now, hopefully, the families of those lost and others impacted by the UBB explosion and long history of safety violations can find some closure and begin the long and difficult process of healing.”Two years ago this month, jurors in U.S. District Court in Charleston began hearing testimony against Blankenship in the high-profile case involving charges against a coal executive who was once one of the region’s most powerful figures in a trial that focused on the rampant safety violations at Upper Big Branch in the months leading up to West Virginia’s worst coal-mining disaster in a generation.Blankenship, 67, was convicted of conspiracy to violate safety rules and then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger to pay a $250,000 fine and spend one year in prison, both the maximum allowed under current federal law that classifies criminal mine safety violations as misdemeanors. Blankenship completed his one-year prison sentence in early May, and is currently serving his one year of supervised release. Berger recently modified the terms of Blankenship’s supervised release so that he could report to probation officials in Las Vegas, where he now lives.Earlier this year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond affirmed Blankenship’s conviction.Blankenship had argued on appeal that Berger incorrectly instructed the trial jury that Blankenship’s ”reckless disregard” of federal mine safety standards amounted to the criminal willfulness needed for a conviction and that Berger was wrong to deny the defense the chance for a second cross-examination of former Massey official Chris Blanchard, a major government witness. Coal industry lobby groups from West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois had warned that Blankenship’s conviction would pave the way for coal executives to be prosecuted for making “tough decisions” necessary to “operate a successful company.”More: US Supreme Court won’t hear Don Blankenship’s appeal U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deaths
The Clippers shot 55.1 percent from the field, 53.1 percent from 3-point range on 17-of-32 shooting from there. New Orleans shot 47.5 percent, 34.8 (8 of 23) from 3-point range.Although Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the work on Davis was at times collective, Griffin was the man assigned to him and he did a terrific job.“Blake was great defensively,” Rivers said.Davis praised the Clippers’ overall effort.“They just tried to play physical and play hard,” he said. “They made a ton of shots and 17 (3-pointers), and we can’t really do anything about that. We fought back, and then the third quarter happened, but we continued to fight.”The Clippers led 34-18 after one quarter and by as many as 18 points early in the second. But the Pelicans had tied the game 54-54 by halftime. That apparently was a sore point with the starters, who built that lead only to see the second unit lose it.“That’s the most upset I’ve seen our team at halftime,” Rivers said. “That was great. I loved that. They were (angry), the starters were, because they get out to a big lead and it slips away. And I think the lesson for our second unit, make your own game. Don’t come in … the first unit got it and then they came in and it felt like they thought, ‘Well, let’s just join in.’ Well, you’ve gotta earn that and I don’t think our guys did that.”Griffin admitted his team losing that 18-point lead was unsettling.“I think we were just frustrated that we gave up the lead in the second quarter,” he said. “We put our minds to it and everyone came out firing. It was a beautiful thing.”The Clippers outscored the Pelicans 39-24 in the third quarter to lead 93-78 entering the fourth.Paul talked about the halftime vibe.“It was just healthy conversation,” he said. “The lead that we had early in the game, and to let the team back in it, was tough. We kept saying in the huddle, ‘They’re not going to give up.’“New Orleans (8-10) has lost five of six. Contributing to the Pelicans’ cause, Ryan Anderson scored 16 points off the bench, Tyreke Evans scored 13 and Luke Babbitt had 12 points.Austin Rivers, son of Doc Rivers, had eight points, six rebounds and six assists off the bench.One thing is certain. Griffin won the battle of power forwards. But Davis didn’t really want to look at it that way.“I just go out there and play,” he said. “I don’t worry about who is guarding me or who is guarding who. I try to worry about the team and what I can do offensively and defensively to help the team win.“It’s not me versus Blake, or me versus whoever. It’s the Pelicans versus whatever team we are going to play.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I love challenges like that,” Griffin said. “He’s obviously one of the best players – not just power forwards – in the league. I love a challenge like that and to go against a guy like that is fun. But ultimately, you can’t get too caught up in a matchup like that.“You have to stay focused on making sure you’re doing your job.”SEE BOX SCORE | INSIDE THE CLIPPERS BLOGGriffin did his job, all right. He led the Clippers with 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and he eclipsed the 7,000-point mark in his career. Redick scored 21 points, Jamal Crawford had 20 and Chris Paul scored 18 points and doled out 16 assists. DeAndre Jordan contributed eight points, 18 rebounds and five blocks, and Matt Barnes scored 14 points. As well as the Los Angeles Clippers have been playing of late, they were not the only big basketball story in town Saturday night. Sharing the spotlight was 21-year-old superstar Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, who took on the Clippers at Staples Center. He is the talk of the league in his third season. “He’s not playing like a third-year pro. He’s playing like an established superstar. He knows how good he is,” Clippers guard J.J. Redick said at the morning shootaround.Davis came in averaging 25.2 points (third in the NBA), 3.06 blocks (first), 2.29 steals (first) and 11.5 rebounds (sixth). He was not quite that good on this night, and the Clippers capitalized by defeating the Pelicans 120-100 before a sellout crowd of 19,060 at Staples Center.Davis scored 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting. But 10 of those came in the fourth quarter and by then the Clippers were in control. Davis had just three rebounds, one block and no steals. Thanks to Blake Griffin, who guarded him, Davis had to work hard to get his shot.