Monday, April 19, 2010

Bill may limit access to autopsy files

A bill limiting what the public may know from autopsy files involving homicides and cases in which the manner of death is either pending or unknown was unanimously approved by state senators on Thursday.

But the press and public have used autopsy reports elsewhere to uncover incompetency and corruption by police, medical examiners and coroners.

For example:

The FBI recently began investigating three post-Katrina police shootings in New Orleans because of a series published by ProPublica and others. Two experts said an autopsy report raised questions about one of the fatal shootings and its circumstances. One of the experts called the New Orleans coroner’s forensic work in the case “incomplete at best.”

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