HERO HIGHLIGHT: Judge Marco Billi

Almost 500 years after the Roman Inquisition charged Galileo with heresy, an Italian court has revived that country’s age-old tradition of prosecuting scientists.

It took Judge Marco Billi just over four hours to find six Italian scientists and a government official guilty of multiple manslaughter because of statements they made just one week prior to a magnitude-6.3 earthquake that killed 309 in the town of L’Auila in April 2009.

The yearlong trial came to a close last week with Billi sentencing the seven defendants to six years in prison. Prosecutors argued that the scientists and the official downplayed the risks of a large quake in L’Aquila after a series of tremors shook the city.

…maybe we could eventually see devastated brides suing weathermen for emotional distress for not warning them months in advance that it would rain on their wedding day.

Rather than unequivocally telling L’Aquila’s citizens that they were in imminent danger, these murderous scientists not only called a large earthquake “unlikely,” but also played head games with residents by saying that the possibility could not be excluded. What a bunch of sick f–ks.

Predictably, other mindf–k-loving earthquake scientists ran to their colleagues’ defense, like Seth Stein, professor of Earth sciences at Northwestern University in Illinois, who claimed, “Our ability to predict earthquake hazards is, frankly, lousy.” Stein also said, “Criminalizing something would only make sense if we really knew how to do this and someone did it wrong.”

Um, hello! Of course they know how to accurately predict earthquakes. That’s why they’re called “earthquake scientists!” Duh!

Of course, at the beginning of the trial in September last year, U.S. earthquake scientists expressed alarm at the idea of subjecting earthquake risk assessment to the criminal justice system, as though that would set a bad precedent.

First, it would be an awesome precedent. Maybe this case could one day lead to imprisoning so-called “hurricane experts” when they don’t precisely predict the path and intensity of storms. And who knows, maybe we could eventually see devastated brides suing weathermen for emotional distress for not warning them months in advance that it would rain on their wedding day.

Secondly, if we’re going to subject anything to the criminal justice system, it should be subjected to the Italian criminal justice system. With judges like Billi, it is as infallible as the Pope, who is also Italian (usually). Case in point: Amanda Knox. Everyone knows she was soooooo guilty.

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Editorial Staff
A random collection of overqualified, underachieving smartasses.

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