A 验尸官’s Inquest is an inquiry into the manner and cause of an individual’s death, conducted by the 验尸官 or Deputy 验尸官 with a court reporter and five jurors and one alternatepresent. The jurors are citizens of the county in which the death took place.
The purpose of an inquest is to present information concerning the victim’s death in order for the jury to determine the cause and manner of a death. The cause of death is often readily apparent and obvious, 基于事实, 情况下, medical evidence and in some cases, 毒理学 and autopsy results. The real essence of the jurors’ responsibility is to establish the manner of death (Suicide, 杀人, 事故, Natural or Undetermined).
The 验尸官 will summon to the inquest the individuals who have pertinent information concerning the incident. 这通常包括, but is not limited to, the person who found the deceased, witnesses to the incident, 涉及, police officers and investigators, and in some instances, 直系亲属. Individuals summoned will present testimony to the jury. Any professional reports (autopsy, 毒理学, x-ray and laboratory reports) will be presented at that time. These reports are not released to the public until the inquest procedures are concluded.
All information and testimony at the inquest is recorded and/or transcribed by a certified court reporter. The inquest is open to the public and may not be closed pursuant to any requests to do so. 任何人都可以参加.
Upon completion of the testimony, the 验尸官s jury will deliberate in private. They may request additional testimony, evidence, or conference as they deem necessary. When the jury has concluded their deliberations, they will issue a verdict through the foreman as to the cause and manner of death( accident, 杀人, 自然, suicide or undetermined).
The Corner’s verdict has no civil or criminal trial significance. The verdict and inquest proceedings are merely fact finding in nature and statistical in purpose. 然而, if a person is implicated as the unlawful slayer of the deceased or accessory thereto, an arrest may be affected. This is extremely rare, as this function is now performed by the State’s Attorney’s grand jury proceedings.
The testimony presented at the inquest is sworn and under oath and properly documented and/or recorded. 正因为如此, testimony may subsequently be used in perjury proceedings if such testimony should change in future civil or criminal trial proceedings.