Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Italian Injustice

The laws of the Roman republic and empire greatly influenced modern governments and legal systems. The Romans were among the first to recognize justice for individuals.

No more:
Six Italian seismologists and one government official will be tried for the manslaughter of those who died in the earthquake that struck the city of L'Aquila on 6 April 2009.

The seven were on a committee that had been tasked with assessing the risk associated with recent increases in seismic activity in the area. Following a committee meeting just a week before the quake, some members of the group assured the public that they were in no danger.

In the aftermath of the quake, which killed 309 people, many citizens said that these reassurances were the reason they did not take precautionary measures, such as leaving their homes. As a consequence, the public prosecutor of L'Aquila pressed manslaughter charges against all the participants in the meeting, on the grounds that they had falsely reassured the public.
If convicted, the defendants could be in prison for up to 12 years.

As Instapundit quips, the Italians seem unclear "on the role of incentives." It's also the ultimate triumph of the nanny state. I can't wait to see the effect of Italian injustice on Italian insurance.

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