Monday, October 02, 2006

Contractor Faces 25 Years In Jail For Using Untrained Homeless Men To Remove Asbestos

This is one of the ironies of the law here in the United States.

Roanoke, VA contractor John Edward Callahan has been accused of hiring homeless men to rip out cancer-causing asbestos without giving them proper training or protective equipment.

This is obviously a very bad thing to do. Neither Callahan, nor his firm, Environmental Construction, had the necessary training or license to do the job. If he's convicted on all five counts of violating the Clean Air Act, Callahan faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to one and a quarter million dollars. And he would deserve every day and every dollar of the penalty.

Of course, if Callahan had knowingly killed the workers and been charged under the Occupational Safety and Health Act instead of the Clean Air Act, he would have faced a total of only six months in jail, although statistically, it's highly unlikely that he would ever have had criminal charges brought against him.

Anyone else think something's wrong with this picture?