Scientists Convicted of Manslaughter for Failing to Predict Italian Quake

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Franco Barbieri ended the meeting by saying there was "no reason to say that a sequence of shocks of low magnitude can be considered a precursor of a strong event."

On television, Bernardo de Bernadinis, then the deputy director of the civil protection department, tried to reassure the population. "The scientific community keeps saying the situation is favorable because of the continuous discharge of energy," said de Bernadinis.

The earthquake that killed Parisse's children and 300 other people – including more than 10 percent of L'Aquila hamlet – hit six days later. Much of L'Aquila is still destroyed.

The six scientists and one government official who were convicted will now appeal.

This is "a profound mistake," argued physicist Luciano Maiani, who currently chairs the High Risks Committee. Those convicted "are professionals who have spoken in good faith and were not driven by personal interests."

But residents who lost family members in the earthquake hailed the verdict.

"The State's main duty is to provide security," argued Aldo Scimia, whose mother was killed. "And they failed." ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb contributed to this report

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