Italian Scientists Convicted of Manslaughter for Failing to Predict Earthquake

L'AQUILA, Italy – Defying assertions that earthquakes cannot be predicted, an Italian court convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter Monday for failing to adequately warn residents before a temblor struck central Italy in 2009 and killed more than 300 people.

The court in L'Aquila also sentenced the defendants to six years each in prison. All are members of the national Great Risks Commission, and several are prominent scientists or geological and disaster experts.

Scientists had decried the trial as ridiculous, contending that science has no reliable way of predicting earthquakes. So news of the verdict shook the tightknit community of earthquake experts worldwide.

"It's a sad day for science," said seismologist Susan Hough, of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena, Calif. "It's unsettling." That fellow seismic experts in Italy were singled out in the case "hits you in the gut," Hough added.

In Italy, convictions aren't definitive until after at least one level of appeals, so it is unlikely any of the defendants would face jail immediately.

Other Italian public officials and experts have been put on trial for earthquake-triggered damage, such as the case in southern Italy for the collapse of a school in a 2002 quake in which 27 children and a teacher were killed. But that case centered on allegations of shoddy construction of buildings in quake-prone areas.

State TV noted that this was the first time prosecutors had brought a case based on the failure to predict an earthquake.

Among those convicted Monday were some of Italy's most well-known and internationally respected seismologists and geological experts, including Enzo Boschi, former head of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology.

"I am dejected, desperate," Boschi said after the verdict. "I thought I would have been acquitted. I still don't understand what I was convicted of."
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I've heard of people being persecuted for being witches, but being persecuted for NOT being witches? That's a new one.


PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Now to be fair, shouldn't they be just as pissed at their neighbors in the Vatican?


The 9/11 Moon Landings Were An Outside Job
In before Don considers this a victory.

This is just like Krypton.

Norm Stansfield

I agree that this is beyond retarded, but the coverage is retarded too. The reason why these people are targeted is not because they are scientists, it's because they were also government officials.

True, this is an emotional, irrational response by some very stupid people who are expecting the government to perform miracles, but the anger is not directed at science so much as it is directed at the government. If these scientists would've stayed just scientists, instead of drawing a paycheck from a government which set out to make everybody safe, they would be fine.


I want to fuck your girlfriend.
What else would you expect from a Mafia owned government.

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Add Italy to the list of shitty, fucked-up countries. (I say this with a heavy heart because I like Italy.)