400 Years Later, Another Italian Galileo Trial

| October 23, 2012

A court in Italy has convicted six Italian scientists and a government official of manslaughter in conjunction with the 2009 L’Acquila earthquake that killed 300.

Their crime?  Failing to predict the earthquake.  

I wish I was joking.

I’m not.

Category: Dumbass Bullshit, Legal

Comments (29)

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  1. Saw this earlier and decided it HAD to be from The Onion.

    And yeah… it SHOULD be funny.

    The Shape of Things to Come?

  2. Roger in Republic says:

    If they had predicted the quake the church would have tried them as devil worshipers. Ignorance is not bliss, it is deadly.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Oh, no, you can’t make this stuff up. They actually do think that geologists can predict when a fault is going to snap, but they don’t realize that the only time the earth moves is when you in the middle of the Big One.

  4. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Despite the repeated reports that they were convicted of failing to predict the quake, they weren’t. They were convicted of manslaughter based upon slipshod (one can say negligent) information they disseminated to the public. The defendants were members of a committee whose job it was to advise areas affected by quakes of the risk to them should a quake strike. One of the committee members reportedly told the concerned folks of L’ Aquila “to have a glass of wine” after tremors were felt there and another said that the tremors were good because they would dissipate energy that might otherwise contribute to a major quake. In short, the scientists failed to do what they were paid to do and 300 people died. If they could not perform the job they were being paid to perform as a committee, then they should have disbanded. I like it. The bad news for me is that the convictions do not stand as such until after one or more appeals courts conducts a review. I’m guessing that the convictions will not stand but that the intention of the sentencing judge will have been accomplished: The committee will take its work and its alerts a tad more seriously hereafter.

  5. OWB says:

    That sounds pretty good, AC. Immagine holding folks accountable. What a concept!

    Will admit that my initial reaction to a very abreviated (and sympathetic to the scientists) broadcast report of this was along the lines of, “Wonder when some of the global warming alarmists will be tried because Antarctica is increasing it’s ice rather than melting away.”

    Wouldn’t it be fun to prosecute some of those “scientists?”

  6. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Yes, I too thought of the global warming quacks. How much money has their quackery cost us taxpayers? Selling carbon credits? The craziest scheme this side of Ponzi. But, alas, Italian jurisprudence and procedures bear no resemblance to the American versions. Their process is one of inquisition not adversarial. If a judge here did what the Italian judges must do, they would be impeached!

  7. Devtun says:

    What about Guam capsizing due to overpopulation from increased military buildup? Congressman Hank Johnson believes this is a distinct possibility…this requires scientific inquiry – people could drown y’know…

  8. Hondo says:

    2-17 AirCav: you might want to reconsider your opinion. A quote from previously-published articles on the subject, from the article I cited.

    “Italy’s National Commission for Prediction and Prevention of Major Risks, which comprised the seven men now on trial, met in L’Aquila for one hour on March 31, 2009, to assess the earthquake swarms. According to the minutes, Enzo Boschi, President of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, was asked if they were precursors to an earthquake resembling the one in 1703. He replied: “It is unlikely that an earthquake like the one in 1703 could occur in the short term, but the possibility cannot be totally excluded (emphasis added).”

    The quake occurred a few days later.

    Earthquake prediction is an area of science that is even less reliable than weather forecasting. These folks are being hammered for, essentially, not being able to tell the future. They gave their best opinion on an unsettled and unpredictable aspect of geoscience – and also indicated they could be wrong. It turns out they were wrong – as they told everyone was a distinct possibility.

    Science cannot yet reliably tell the future. Reliable crystal balls simply don’t exist.

  9. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    The news is reporting that their associates in the field are resigning in protest.

    I think not, they are looking for alternate employment options that are not so lets say, hazardous to one’s freedom.

    BTW, Italian government and its court system changes hands every 2 to 4 years (?). Typically from Socialism to Fascism or somewhere in between and back again.

  10. UpNorth says:

    @5 & 6, and Algore tweeted last night that he was pissed because there were no questions for Obama and Romney about global warming, er, climate change or whatever it’s name du jour is this week.

  11. 2-17 AirCav says:

    No, Hondo, I’m sticking with it. The quote that you provided is accurate but so is the information I related in comment #4. Admittedly, neither one of us has the evidence that the judge had but I just can’t ride the popular wave of media-fomented suggestion that the scientists were sentenced to prison for failing to meet an unreasonable public expectation of predicting a quake’s occurrence. There’s much more to it than that.

  12. Devtun says:

    Estimated to be an earthquake a minute somewhere in the world – like roughly a half million…vast majority go unnoticed and only around a 100 or so inflict damage.

    I’m thinking there will be an earthquake at Chris Matthews’s MSNBC studio when the people vote to uninstall The Messiah on 6 Nov…

  13. skh.pcola says:

    I bet that job openings for those positions in that failed socialist state don’t attract many candidates. Coming to a useless bureaucracy near you, if Ozero gets re-selected by voter fraud.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Socialism makes people stupid.

  15. streetsweeper says:

    @#10-UN; Read an article about Gore’s attending a climate conference in Gibraltar not too long ago. Because that country is under British rule, he wasn’t able to espouse his usually garbage of climate change/globull bullshit due to his Generations Investment Management Co being HQ’d in London. Lord Trockmonton was really hoping that Gore would slip up and open his mouth…I’ll see if can find it again and link to it here. It will put a slight grin on your face, lol.

  16. streetsweeper says:

    Well hell, that was real quick to find! Gibraltar Conference. Except from linked to WDN article: Monckton continued, “If you say anything in Gibraltar which has any bearing on the fortunes of Generations Investment Management, if you say anything that is incorrect about global warming, and that’s how Generations Investment Management is making a lot of its money, then you are guilty of an offense under the Financial Services Act of 1988, and you will be arrested, prosecuted and convicted.”

    Monckton said Gore’s “bull—” is illegal under that legislation in the United Kingdom and its territories, and “If you come to any British territory and you talk the rubbish you’ve been talking elsewhere, then you will be arrested and prosecuted.”

    Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/al-gore/2012/10/23/al-gore-threatened-arrest#ixzz2ADWVtbM6

    Back to the original post, how on earth someone is able to predict when an earthquake is going to occur has yet to be done. Maybe the scientist’s that are aboard with all this “earth whatever” movement ought to reconsider their current “occupational specialty” and get out of it?

  17. Hondo says:

    Anonymous: yes, it does. People living under socialism start depending on government to think for them as well as provide for them. As a consequence, the lose the ability for self-reliance and critical thought.

    Kinda like the Italian judges did here.

    By the same logic as shown in this case, an Italian judge should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting every time someone they declare innocent (or release on appeal) goes on to commit another crime. Obviously, they should have used their “super Italian judicial ESP” to see into the future and know that would happen. They could have prevented it, and they didn’t – never mind the fact that they didn’t know the future at the time. Ergo, guilty.

  18. Twist says:

    I bet there are some Volcanologists running for the hills in Italy right now.

  19. Hondo says:

    Twist: I’m guessing those that are are looking for private employment pronto. Ditto seismologists.

  20. Country Singer says:

    As much of a knock as Christiandom gets for its own past, there is a certain irony seeing history repeat itself for those who have embraced science as religion.

  21. Ex-PH2 says:

    It is easier to accurately predict a volcanic eruption than a major earthquake. There are signs like harmonic tremors, which are audible, that precede an eruption.

  22. DaveO says:

    And, Michael Mann, the climate scientist who worked at Penn State and created the Hockey Stick chart, fell into the trap of filing suit against his critics (for comparing his behavior to Sandusky’s).

    Discovery is a bitch, Mr. Mann.

  23. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Nothing to offer. Just enjoying my freedom. Ahhhhh….

  24. R. L. Ermey says:

    Oh, you think so? Not so fast! Get your butt back in that cell! Double time it! Do I have to drag you out of namby-pamby land or can you just drag your sorry slacker self over there without my boot up your behind?

  25. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    No speaka englesh.

  26. Bourne says:

    I told you, they’re everywhere. They won’t leave us alone. I gotta go.

  27. PintoNag says:

    I live about a mile from a major fault that runs right up local gulch. When you live in earthquake country, the rule is this: get ready. One IS coming to a neighborhood near you!

  28. USMCE8Ret12 says:

    @28/PintoNag: Just buy a cat, dog or birds if you don’t already have one. Rumor has it, they can tell when calamity is about to strike due to their senses. At least you might get a few seconds of warning.