22 Sep '11, 10pm

Italy's Troubling Earthquake Prosecutions

11:09 p.m. | Updated below | You may be aware of the effort under way in Italy to convict six scientists and a public official for manslaughter for statements they made about the improbability of a big earthquake as low-level tremors unnerved citizens in the Abruzzo region of central Italy in late March 2009. On April 6, the medieval town of L’Aquila was devastated by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake . Massimiliano Schiazza/European Pressphoto Agency Photographs of the 2009 earthquake in the Abruzzo region of Italy. One can only hope that a decision earlier this week to adjourn the trial until October 1 will give the prosecution time to reconsider the merits of what amounts to a medieval-style attack on science. The criminal case (and lawsuit seeking $66 million ) centers on an assessment of quake risk made by Italy’s Commission of Grand Risks. A recent BBC report provides a goo...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/italys-unfou...

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