Consider This: Crisis at the Medical Examiner’s Office

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:55 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - “I’ve got cases dating back to 2014 that have still not been solved, no death certificates amended, my cases are still incomplete on the files that I have. It’s just a backlog that’s unbelievable, it’s ridiculous,” stated Winston County Coroner Scott Gregory.

There is a crisis at the Medical Examiner’s office at the Mississippi Crime Lab. It has been an issue for years, and it is way past time for state leaders to address it.

“I’ve got a grandmother calling me every week at least, wanting to know about the autopsy report for her grandchild, and it was in 2017,” remarked Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler

What if something happened to someone in your family? Wouldn’t you want answers? If it were a crime, wouldn’t you want to know what happened?

“I had a family that waited so long for an autopsy report that their life insurance policy was canceled because it took them so long to get a final copy of the autopsy report,” said Rankin County Coroner David Ruth.

In 2011, the Mississippi State Legislature re-established the State Medical Examiner’s Office and replaced the county coroner system with a statewide mixed coroner/State Medical Examiner system. That means it is the responsibility of state leadership to make sure it is operating correctly.

What is happening now is not only dereliction of duty it is a total abandonment of compassion and the basic responsibilities of government.

Public Safety Commissioner Tindell, Speaker Gunn, Lieutenant Governor Hosemann and Governor Reeves, as the upcoming legislative session approaches, this should be at the top of your list of issues to address and fix.

Mississippians deserve better.

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