Skip to comments.SC Supreme Court to rule on public autopsy reports
Posted on 02/15/2014 12:07:33 AM PST by Rabin
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Are autopsies medical records or public records? South Carolina's Supreme Court will begin grappling with that question Wednesday, when it hears a lawsuit by a Sumter County newspaper against the county's coroner. The Item newspaper wants the high court to toss out a lower court's ruling that said autopsies do not have to be made public because they do not fall under the state's Freedom of Information Act.
(Excerpt) Read more at talkingpointsmemo.com ...
Andy Lopez will have justice.
Why keep them secret? I can understand why families may not want to see an autopsy report, but in this case the public good should out weight those concerns.
A lot of mischief can be concealed if the reports are secret.
Add to that the level of mistrust between the people and government grows every time some activity is done behind closed doors.
I’m sure this is what the founders had in mind for the work of The Supreme Court
A family in Kentucky sued a newspaper for publishing a photo of their deceased in a workplace shooting. The KY Supremes ruled that the ‘dead don’t have rights’. I say the same about an autopsy report and maybe it will increase our knowledge base too.
The ONLY question that has a bearing on this is one on whether public funds were expended. Public $$$ means the public has the right-to-know, IMO. It’s part of the problem with the licensing of concealed carry since that can expose those with licenses. Some states get around this by dropping the veil if a licensee is involved in a crime.
A murder was covered up. Since the case is still under investigation after four years, the autopsy results were never released.
In all fairness, the *written* record is important public information, especially the determination of cause of death, because in past, some government authorities have made effort to conceal incriminating evidence. Likewise, whoever performed the autopsy must be a known individual, in case they are needed for future litigation.
At the next level, if there are any questions by the *family* of the decedent, they should be provided any photographic or video evidence from the autopsy, for them to provide for independent evaluation.
However, beyond that, there is no pressing need for media or public titillation from autopsy photos. This should also include police photographs of the decedent that have not been introduced into evidence in a criminal or civil proceeding, except at the direction of a judge.
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