Coroner and Medical Examiner Systems

In line with William J. Stahl

about Coroner in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

A short time before the Norman Conquest, the Office of the Coroner was established in England. The coroners at that time were appointed by the king, and their duty was to represent and protect the interests of the Crown. Specifically, the coroner's function was to ensure the passage of the decedent's property to the legal recipient. As time passed, the Office assumed additional duties, and the coroners were empowered to select a jury to hear evidence in cases of unnatural deaths. These proceedings, called an inquest, were needed to decide the nature and circumstances of a death, and also to try to determine why a person died. If sufficient evidence was presented at an inquest to charge a person with the crime of felonious homicide, the sheriff would apprehend the responsible individual. The coroner would then seize the property of the accused and turn it over to the Crown.

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