L’Aquila decision against geoscientists overturned

In an update to a story that shook geoscientists around the world, almost all of the people formerly found guilty in the L’Aquila earthquake prediction manslaughter case have been acquitted.

Verdict Overturned for Italian Geoscientists Convicted of Manslaughter | WIRED.

Today, after a surprisingly swift-by-Italian-standards appeals process, the three-judge panel acquitted six of the men. The seventh, Bernardo De Bernardinis, received a two-year sentence for causing the death of some, but not all, of the 29 victims involved in the trial.

Much of the case, and subsequent appeal, hinged on an especially moronic statement made by De Bernardinis on the day of the now infamous meeting in L’Aquila preceding the quake. At the time, he was the number two official at the Civil Protection Department. In a television interview, De Bernardinis—whose training is in hydrology, not seismology—was asked if the swarm was a sign of worse to come.

“On the contrary,” he said. “The scientific community assures me that the situation is good because of the continuous discharge of energy.”

The original guilty verdict covered by me, a geologist quite disturbed by the precedent set, is here but I also write an indepth piece: Hear rumbling? It’s the sound of Italy’s disaster preparedness force crumbling. Hopefully, this decision wraps up this terrible scenario in geology and the public and we can learn from the dreadful mistakes all around.

  3 comments for “L’Aquila decision against geoscientists overturned

  1. Steve
    November 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    This is very good news.

    I’m amazed at how well human civilization has progressed in being able to reduce the impact of formally devastating events such as weather, disease, and geological disasters due to our math and science and the resulting technology. And yet we are still so foolish and hard-headed about having to accept that much is still out of our control and that much of the time we can only deal with probabilities, not certainties.

    Thanks for the website and keeping an eye on all this.

  2. Tribeca Mike
    November 11, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Va bene!

  3. BJF
    November 16, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    It’s still wrong that the one guy has a 2 year sentence, how did he injure anyone.

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