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. James

    This trial + knoxy's freedom all are indications that Italy has really bad justice system. EU should review it.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. jiri pincas

    Lay off the pizza and maybe you will think clearly. Jailed for an earthquake lol. I think I'll pass on any trips
    to Italy!

    October 23, 2012 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    What the heck? Is this Iran?

    what a stupid barbaric system. oh wait, these are the same people who stone their soccer players to death if they dont win. Never mind, nothing to see here move along.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. tp884

    Really? Really? This doesn't make a lick of sense. Jail scientists because an unlikely event happened?

    October 23, 2012 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. pbernasc

    yeah... why am I not surprised .. actually I am , this is Middle Ages stupidity ,,, I somehow thought Italy was past such things, but then again .. here int he US the GOP is calling climate science a hoax, despite the evidence of the opposite ... we sure aren't in the position to call anybody stupid ...

    October 23, 2012 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. lou owen

    What next? we throw the weather person under the bus because it rained and they said it wasny going too.geez how stupid is that.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rev. Christie Bliss. Ley

    They needed someone to blame, and they have gone after those who try to save lives. Sheer insanity. There is no justice in bringing these charges.
    No one can predict the severity of earthquakes.

    October 23, 2012 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sue-helen

    This is utterly bizarre. Jailed scientists for a natural event? How the hell can somebody be jailed for an EARTHQUAKE!

    October 23, 2012 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. a slozomby

    they ran out of women with loose morals to blame for the quake.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tundra

    To be honest it is no different than sueing a doctor for failing to make a proper diagnosis. People are taking "You should have known" to the extreme.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Barb

      It is a little different, because there's still absolutely no way to accurately predict when an earthquake will hit, and how severe it will be. Either way, I do kind of agree, and it's stupid to constantly sue doctors over everything. Just like it's stupid to sue because you spilled hot coffee on yourself, or burned your mouth when you took a drink of hot coffee from a fast food resturant.

      October 23, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hello

    Just how stupid can you be....Italy is still in the Dark ages.. even a 3rd grader knows you can't predict earth quakes.

    Italian kids.. forget even thinking about getting a job in scientific fields...you live in a stupid country.

    I wonder if they execute their doctors from preventing people from getting sick?

    October 23, 2012 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. back bencher

    stone age justice indeed.here in Zambia,Africa i think we are better than this rubbish.How can they be 100% correct when they predict.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Robert Gertz

    Insane. But no doubt the local pols needed a scapegoat. I'm sure that when economic damage from global warming gets worse with droughts, coastal flooding, severe storms, crop shortfalls, the same clowns who try to deny it and ban state studies will scream that "damn scientists" are to blame for not warning us.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. kc

    Blame scientists for an act of god. Very interesting.

    October 23, 2012 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. richard

    There is going to be an earthquake tomorrow! Everybody run for the hills!

    Is that better?

    October 23, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
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