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A plaque memorializes 29 miners killed in a 2010 explosion at a Massey Energy mine in West Virginia. Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction on charges of willfully violating mine safety and health standards. John Raby/AP hide caption

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John Raby/AP

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, left, walks out of the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse on Nov. 24, 2015, after the jury deliberated for a fifth full day in his trial in Charleston, W.Va. Chris Tilley/AP hide caption

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Chris Tilley/AP

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was sentenced to the maximum of one year in prison for conspiring to break safety laws and defrauding mine regulators at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch Mine, which exploded in 2010, killing 29 men. Tyler Evert /AP hide caption

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Tyler Evert /AP

Former Massey Energy Company Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship, seen in July 2010, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges associated with the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 men. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Mine helmets and painted crosses at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine, as a memorial to the 29 miners killed there. Jeff Gentner/AP hide caption

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Jeff Gentner/AP