Italian Government: Pardon the L'Aquila 7
  • Petitioned Mario Monti

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister of Italy
Mario Monti
President of Italy
Giorgio Napolitano
Italian Minister of Justice
Paola Severino

Italian Government: Pardon the L'Aquila 7

    1. Dave Leichtman
    2. Petition by

      Dave Leichtman

      Arlington, VA

On October 22, 2012 six scientists and one government official, formerly of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, were wrongfully convicted by the Italian courts. Judge Marco Billi sentenced each of them to 6 years in prison for manslaughter. Their alleged crime was providing "inexact, incomplete and contradictory" information to residents of L'Aquila, Italy ahead of the April 6, 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people.

While the devastating earthquake and the resulting loss of life were tragic, punishing scientists for failing to predict disasters sets an absurd standard for justice. For the scientific method to succeed, scientists must be free to conduct their work in an open and accountable manner, but without fear of political reprisal.

As Dr. Tom Jordan, the director of the southern California Earthquake Center, told CBS News, "This trial has raised huge concerns within the scientific community because here you have a number of scientists who are simply doing their job being prosecuted for criminal manslaughter and I think that scares all of us who are involved in risk communication."

This verdict was motivated by emotion rather than rational judgement, and the international scientific community should express its concern. Join the 5000 international scientists who signed on to a 2010 letter by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to Italian President Napolitano. Make your voice heard. Tell the Italian government that this kind of scapegoating is unacceptable.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. Time Editorial: Scientific Illiteracy

      Dave Leichtman
      Petition Organizer
      Scientific Illiteracy: Why The Italian Earthquake Verdict is Even Worse Than it Seems

      Yesterday was a very good day for stupid - better than any it's had in a while. Stupid gets fewer good days in the 21st century than it used to get, but it enjoyed a great ride for a long time - back in the day when there were witches to burn and demons to exorcise and astronomers to put on tria...

    3. 100 sigs!

      Dave Leichtman
      Petition Organizer

      We just hit 100 signatures! We can do more. I just raised the goal to 1000 signatures!

    4. Reached 100 signatures
    5. Nature: Shock and Law

      Dave Leichtman
      Petition Organizer

      Check out this editorial from Nature's blog today:

    6. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 11 months ago

      The verdict is shows a lack of understanding for science and is fankly beyond comprehension. This sets an extremely worrying precedent for the future.

    • Carter Harrison MISHAWAKA, IN
      • over 1 year ago

      Belief in the freedom and independence of science/thought.

    • alec devries RINGWOOD, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      I'm still shocked this could even happen in this day and age. Way to stand up to the mob of ignorance Italian officials.

    • Roy Morris CONWAY, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      This is not justice! Manslaughter for not being accurate in communicating outcomes from a natural disaster. What idiots! If I was a Doctor or Scientist in Italy I would do something else or move my practice out of Italy. In the end this verdict may very well cost more lives. Pitty

    • roberto pittis SAN GIORGIO DI NOGARO, ITALY
      • almost 2 years ago

      scientists must be ever free to conducttheir work,italian politicians were santinquisizionisti well as thieves!


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