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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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The L'Aquila Trial Revisited: A Reappraisal of the Case and its Impact on Scientists

Publication abandoned lge

ISBN13: 9783319300146
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Country of Publication: Switzerland
Format: Hardback
Price: Publication Abandoned

This book summarizes and critically reviews the complex story of the L'Aquila trial, in which five scientists and two civil protection officers were prosecuted for manslaughter after the earthquake of 6 April 2009 and sentenced to six-year terms in jail plus the payment of approximately 7 million euros to relatives of the victims.

The aim is to cast light on the many open questions and inconsistencies in the reporting of the trial, as well as to examine the trial's implications and consequences. The seismological evidence and the knowledge of earthquake risk in the L'Aquila region before the earthquake are first reviewed. Key events, including the meeting attended by the defendants on 31 March 2009 and the interview recorded before but broadcast after the meeting, are carefully analyzed. The material presented by the prosecution and defence and the reasoning of the judge in reaching his verdict are then discussed, with detailed examination of the scientific issues relevant to the sentence. Although six of the defendants were acquitted upon appeal, and the sentence of the seventh was reduced, the trial remains a landmark event. Many readers will find that this book causes them to reconsider their opinions of the original trial.

Publication abandoned lge
A short history of the event
Seismological overview, including Giuliani forecast
Seismic hazard, vulnerability and risk at L'Aquila
The Major Risk Committee: history and duties
The meeting of 31 March 2009 and what followed
The prosecution and the international scientists' reaction
The first degree trial
the material of prosecutor and defense
The first degree sentence to six years and its motivation
In particular, the "missing" seismic risk analysis vs the "missing" earthquake forecast
An overview of the political and, mostly, the scientific response to the sentence
The appeal trial and the acquittal (motivation to come). Could the verdict be overturned a second time?
Conclusion: positive and negative changes introduced by the trial.