If Exxon Corp. had intentionally dumped 258,000 bbl of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound, $100 million in criminal penalties would certainly not constitute justice. But the Exxon Valdez spill of March 1989 was an accident. It was a dumb mistake that killed wildlife, disrupted local commerce, and turned a beautiful place into a gooey mess for a while. It was an accident nevertheless.

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