Verdict Overturned for Italian Geoscientists Convicted of Manslaughter

November 10, 2014 6:12 PM

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An appeals court in Italy has overturned the 2012 manslaughter conviction handed down to seven prominent scientists and engineers following a devastating earthquake in 2009. The decision came as a surprise—and a relief—to many of the accused’s colleagues, who worried that pressure from the community, victims’ families, and local press would compel the court to agree with the earlier decision.

The original conviction, handed down in October 2012, found the seven men guilty of manslaughter after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed 309 people in the Italian mountain town of L’Aquila. They each received a six-year sentence, two more than the prosecutor had requested, for not properly assessing...

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