Thursday, November 17, 2016

The incompetent for-profit medical examiner's office in St. Paul that sent an innocent man to prison for murder

Tuesday night's story by Jeff Baillon begins slowly. It sounds like a case of relatively harmless incompetence by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office.  A guy dies of a heart attack, and the medical examiner says it was alcohol abuse. Sure, the medical examiner also noted that the guy's gallbladder was normal, when in fact it has been removed years earlier (ditto for his prostate) and sure, he did agree (on tape) to alter the man's death certificate after a relative complained. But hey: no harm, no foul, right?

It's only as the story proceeds that things begin to get ominous. Turns out the very same Medical Examiner's Office sent an innocent man to prison for murder, where he remained for nearly seven years until his conviction was overturned. The office also gave faulty evidence in another murder trial, concluding that the accused man's son had died of traumatic head injuries. (The accused man was acquitted.)  And a third man who has challenged the evidence provided by the Medical Examiner's Office is still in prison for allegedly murdering his wife, although nine other experts have come forward on his behalf.

Did I mention that the Medical Examiner's Office is a private entity and that two of its pathologists are not board-certified in forensic pathology?

This one is worth checking out.

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