October 23rd, 2012
01:40 AM ET

Scientists aghast after colleagues convicted of manslaughter over Italy quake

Earthquake experts around the world say they are appalled by an Italian court's decision to convict six scientists on manslaughter charges for failing to predict the deadly quake that devastated the city of L'Aquila. They warned the ruling could severely harm future scientific research.

The court in L'Aquila sentenced the scientists and a government official Monday to six years in prison, ruling that they didn't accurately communicate the risk of the earthquake in 2009 that killed more than 300 people.

The trial centered on a meeting a week before the 6.3-magnitude quake struck. At the meeting, the experts determined that it was "unlikely" but not impossible that a major quake would take place, despite concern among the city's residents over recent seismic activity.


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Filed under: Earthquake • Italy • Natural Disasters • Science
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Fresh

    "inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory" This describes most sciences and all religions. Dam we just can't win, though I would sure like to send our weatherman to a Russian prison camp for hard labor. Maybe then he'll understand the difference between right and wrong.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. bottomfeeder

    Please start this in America.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Im just going to assume that your posting name is indicative of your IQ level.

      October 23, 2012 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. KamranGCW

    The Taliban have taken over Italy it seems.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. kevin

    Great way to get rid of all your seismologists, Italy. Are the weathermen next for not predicting a snowstorm?

    October 23, 2012 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. facada

    LOL I dont believe on this news!!! I just give some food for thought: Napoli. Napoli is very near the Vesuvius vulcano. The issue here is not if is going to happen, but when. And when it comes, who are they going to blame? The Camorra mafia because they let the trash on the streets and nobody could drive? The whole Italy in prone the sort of events that happened. But these 6 cientists are the last 6 victims from the Earthquake.

    October 23, 2012 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. jorge santos

    Why not just send God to prison for having caused the earthquake?

    October 23, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Luke

    Damn, if an inaccurate forecast was a jailable offense in the USA – every weatherperson in the country would be locked up.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
    • blkwdow

      Love it!

      October 23, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Wow. 6 years for manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake? That's like giving a meteorologist the chair for failing to predict a tornado.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dean Derkson

    Send everyone to prison for deliberately choosing to live and place their families in an area where earthquakes happen.Namely Italy.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. nemo0037

    How stupid are these legal authorities in Italy? Seriously... they needed to think this through before even announcing charges.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Absolutely ridiculous. They have been scapegoated by an incompetent Italian government. If these scientists had gone to the Italian govt. with their honest academic opinion (ie, we think there may be an earthquate soon, but we dont know for sure), would it have evacuated the town? I very much doubt it.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. guitarken

    America's Republicans are licking their chops.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. alex warner

    If these scientists had made the prediction more loudly and nothing happened, the officials would probably charge them too for that. geologists of Italy get out, your country is slipping back into the stone age.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. No one

    Unless they could have retrofitted all the buildings that fell in 1 week what's the point of this?

    October 23, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. saggyroy

    What manner of sorcery is this !!?

    October 23, 2012 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
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