• Hear that Democrats? Former peanut company CEO sentenced to 28 years fo

    From James Carter@21:1/5 to All on Tue Sep 22 08:46:20 2015
    XPost: sac.politics, alt.politics.democrats, alt.fan.rush-limbaugh
    XPost: alt.food.safety

    The former owner of a peanut company in Georgia was sentenced to
    28 years in prison on Monday for his role in a salmonella
    outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds, a rare
    instance of jail time in a food contamination case.

    Stewart Parnell, 61, who once oversaw Peanut Corporation of
    America, and his brother, Michael Parnell, 56, who was a food
    broker on the company's behalf, were convicted on federal
    conspiracy charges in September 2014 for knowingly shipping
    salmonella-tainted peanuts to customers.

    Contamination at the company's plant in Blakely, Georgia, led to
    one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history and forced the
    company into liquidation.

    U.S. District Judge Louis Sands gave Michael Parnell 20 years in
    prison. Mary Wilkerson, 41, a former quality control manager at
    the plant who was found guilty of obstruction, was sentenced to
    five years in prison.

    Stewart Parnell faced life in prison and his brother faced about
    24 years.

    The Justice Department described Stewart Parnell's sentence as
    the largest in a food safety case.

    Before the judge issued the sentences, Stewart Parnell said;
    “This has been a seven-year nightmare for me and my family. I’m
    truly, truly sorry for what’s happened.”

    At Monday's hearing in Albany, Georgia, relatives of several
    victims described their suffering and asked for stiff sentences.

    Jeff Almer, of Brainerd, Minnesota, said his mother, Shirley
    Almer, died after eating tainted peanut butter in 2009, one of
    714 people to fall ill.

    "My mother died a painful death from salmonella, and the look of
    horror on her face as she died shall always haunt me," he said.

    "I just hope they ship you all to jail," Almer said.

    Stewart Parnell's attorney, Tom Bondurant Jr. vowed to appeal,
    contending that the sentences were too harsh. Under federal
    rules, the defendants will have to serve at least 85 percent of
    their sentences before being eligible for parole.

    "Given the ages of these two men, this is a life sentence,"
    Bondurant said.

    During the trial, prosecutors said the brothers covered up the
    presence of salmonella in their company's peanut products for
    years, even creating fake certificates showing they were
    uncontaminated despite laboratory results showing otherwise.

    The Parnells have said they never knowingly endangered customers.

    "No one thought that the products were unsafe or could harm
    someone," said Stewart Parnell's daughter, Grey Parnell. "Dad
    brought them home to us. We all ate it."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/22/us-usa-georgia- salmonella-idUSKCN0RL24H20150922

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