Monday, October 22, 2012

justice in Italy

Justice may be blind, but does that mean it has to be stupid into the bargain?

Seven earthquake experts were convicted Monday of manslaughter in deaths linked to a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit central Italy in 2009 and killed 308 people.

The defendants were accused of giving "inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether small tremors felt by L'Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have been grounds for a warning.

Each was sentenced to six years in prison, though no sentence goes into effect until after at least one appeal.

It may all seem a bit much, but it does open the door on a whole new area of jurisprudence: "Misdemeanor weather forecasting" springs to mind. Or perhaps "felony political promises." Or a term in solitary for suggesting that anything is "free."

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