Six Italian scientists and a government official were convicted of manslaughter Monday and sentenced to six years in prison for allegedly failing to warn of the earthquake that killed more than 300 people in the city of L'Aquila three years ago. The group of seven, who all worked for the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, had been accused of negligence and malpractice in their assessment of the danger of a possible earthquake in the town, which was filled with fragile ancient buildings and had been ravaged by earthquakes three other times over the centuries. With their conviction, Franco Barberi, Enzo Boschi, Mauro Dolce, Bernardo De Bernardinis, Giulio Selvaggi, Claudio Eva and Gianmichele Calvi were all also barred from public office, La Repubblica reported. One defense lawyer called the judgment "stunning and incomprehensible," according to Repubblica. International science associations had earlier balked at the case's prosecution, saying it would only deter seismologists from working for governments at all, given the risk of criminal conviction.