Responsibilities of the Coroner
The Coroner is responsible for
assuring readily available death investigators for the county
twenty-four (24) hours-a-day for the investigation of all deaths
"affecting the public interest." As designated in Section 41-61-59(2) OF
A death affecting the public interest
includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
Violent death, including
homicidal, suicidal or accidental death.
Death caused by thermal,
chemical, electrical or radiation injury.
Death caused by criminal
abortion, including self-induced abortion, or abortion related to sexual
Death related to disease
thought to be virulent or contagious which may constitute a public hazard.
Death that has occurred
unexpectedly or from an unexplained cause.
Death of a person confined in
a prison, jail or correctional institution.
Death of a person where a
physician was not in attendance with thirty-six (36) hours preceding
death, or in prediagnosed terminal or bedfast cases, within thirty (30)
days preceding death.
Death of a person where the
body is not claimed by a relative or a friend.
Death of a person where the
identity of the deceased is unknown.
Death of a child under the age
of two (2) years where death results from an unknown cause or where the
circumstances surrounding the death indicated that sudden infant death
syndrome may be the cause of death.
Where a body is brought into
this state for disposal and there is reason to believe either that the
death was not investigated properly or that there is not an adequate
certificate of death.
Where a person is presented to
a hospital emergency room unconscious and/or unresponsive, with
cardiopulmonary resuscitative measures being performed, and dies within
twenty-four (24) hours of admission without regaining consciousness or
responsiveness, unless a physician was in attendance with thirty-six (36)
hours preceding presentation to the hospital, or in cases in which the
decedent had a prediagnosed terminal or bedfast condition, unless a
physician was in attendance with thirty (30) days preceding presentation
to the hospital.
The Coroner is also responsible
for the maintenance of copies of all medical examiner death
investigations for the county for the previous five (5) years, and the
coordination and cooperation of his office and duties with the State
The coroner position is filled through an at
large election and serves a 4 year term. He or she must meet the following
requirements prior to taking the oath:
Possess a high school diploma or its
Be twenty-one (21) years of age or older
Be a qualified elector of the county in which
Attend the Mississippi Crime Laboratory and
State Medical Examiner Death Investigation Training School, successfully
completing all exams on the subject matter presented
Once the Corner takes oath he/she is designated
the chief medical examiner (CME) or chief medical examiner investigator (CMEI)
for the county. A CME is a doctor of medicine (M.D.) Or osteopathic
medicine (D.O.) licensed in the State of Mississippi, while a CMEI is a
nonphysician possessing, as a minimum, a high school diploma or its
As the CME or CMEI, the Corner is required to:
Successfully complete additional training on
subject material presented by the State Medical Examiner at least once
every four (4) years
Receive at least twenty-four (24) hours of
continuing education annually. If the continuing education standards are
not met, the CME/CMEI is disqualified and removed from office.
The CME/CMEI, with the Board of Supervisors, may
appoint deputy medical examiners or deputy medical examiner investigators as
deemed necessary. All deputies must possess the same authority and duties
and are subject to the same qualifications, training, and certification
requirements as any CME/CMEI.