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coroner (kôrˈənər), judicial officer responsible for investigating deaths occurring through violence or under suspicious circumstances. The office has been traced to the late 12th cent. Originally the coroner's duties were primarily to maintain records of criminal justice and to take custody of all royal property. In England this second function persists in his jurisdiction over treasure-trove. In his present-day work of determining cause of death, the coroner proceeds by means of the inquest whenever there is doubt. In several of the United States the coroner has been replaced by the medical examiner, who can only conduct post-mortem examinations, and who works in cooperation with the public prosecutor.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in Great Britain, the USA, and some other coun-tries with the Anglo-Saxon legal system, an official whose duties include establishing the causes of any death that occurs either under unexplained circumstances or suddenly.

When violence is suspected to be the cause of death, the coroner usually holds an inquest. He hands over all his materials for examination by a coroner’s court consisting of the coroner him-self and a small jury (six jurors), which hears witnesses and experts. Then the jury renders a verdict on the causes of death. The decision of a jury is obligatory only to establish the fact of violent death, on the basis of which the case is pursued further. In some cases (for example, accidental death) the coroner may render the decision alone.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a public official responsible for the investigation of violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths and inquiries into treasure trove. The investigation (coroner's inquest) is held in the presence of a jury (coroner's jury)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The study's authors reviewed 651 autopsy charts from the District of Columbia's Chief Medical Examiner's Office for cases from 1988 until 1996.
Joye Carter, the nation's first black female chief medical examiner, in her book My Strength Comes From Within (Biblical Dogs, $12.95).
In an effort to identify DNA evidence from the victim, officers requested the microscopic slides, made during the autopsy, from the chief medical examiner's office.
In this outbreak, autopsies were performed under the jurisdiction of New York City's Office of Chief Medical Examiner because of the obvious public health implications (8).
The deputy chief medical examiner, Edward Leis, confirmed that Valent's prolonged restraint "is the main precipitating factor leading to blood clots and his death." A lawsuit brought by Valent's mother ended in a $200,000 settlement with the state of Utah.
The chief medical examiner has confirmed that fourteen bodies have been identified using medical, dental and fingerprint records.
(Kris) Sperry, the Fulton County deputy chief medical examiner in Atlanta, Ga.
The NIAID researchers, with collaborators from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, say in the Dec.
Bureau of Prisons on March 4, the North Carolina assistant chief medical examiner said the cause was asphyxiation and that it was homicide [see Edward Bunker, "The Lynching of Vinson Harris," The Nation, May 17].
New York City's chief medical examiner, Barbara Sampson, said her office conducted an autopsy of Epstein's body Sunday but had not yet reached a determination on cause of death "pending further information." The medical examiner also allowed a private pathologist, Dr.
The requirements for completion of death certificates by practitioners outside of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) apply to the certification of natural deaths.