In DepthSeismology

Relief greets acquittals in Italy earthquake trial

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Science  14 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6211, pp. 794
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6211.794

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Summary

Many scientists are relieved that an appeals court has acquitted six experts convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2012 for advice they gave ahead of an earthquake that killed 309 people in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009. The six attended a meeting of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, held 6 days before the fatal quake struck. A lower court had ruled that they had made a number of reassuring statements that led 29 of the quake's victims to remain indoors at the time of the disaster. Only one of the seven originally found guilty remains convicted, but his sentence has been reduced to 2 years in jail.

  • * in L'Aquila, Italy

  • * Edwin Cartlidge is a science writer in Rome