The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 10/22/8

The Legislature’s watchdog Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee is right: Mississippi’s system of death investigations is in urgent need of reform.

Attorney General Jim Hood should push for a revamp of the system with the Legislature.

PEER issued its report Monday saying the state medical examiner’s office lacks staff and resources to properly investigate deaths. Mississippi hasn’t had a state medical examiner in more than a decade. Instead, the state uses designated pathologists to handle autopsies and relies on an outdated county coroner system.

Without a medical examiner, “important regulatory and managerial duties go unattended because there is no person with the statutorily required background to give leadership and direction,” the report said.