‘Unprecedented’ life sentence recommended for peanut executive in federal food-poisoning case

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Federal court officers are recommending what attorneys are calling an “unprecedented” sentence of life in prison for a peanut executive convicted in a salmonella-poisoning case.

Former Peanut Corporation of American owner Stewart Parnell was convicted last fall of selling truckloads of peanut butter from his southwest Georgia plant to food processors even after they tested positive for salmonella.

Food containing the tainted peanuts was blamed for killing nine people and sickened more than 700.

The U.S. Probation Office prepared the recommendation for Parnell’s upcoming sentencing. It was revealed in a court filing by prosecutors Wednesday.

Bill Marler is a lawyer for victims sickened by peanut butter from Parnell’s plant. He called the recommended sentence “unprecedented.”

Parnell attorney Ken Hodges went further, calling it, “truly absurd.”

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