New pressure on Mississippi medical examiner
For months, Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne has come under fire for years of false forensic testimony, unethical methods, nepotism and potential illegal activities. His flawed autopsies led two innocent men to spend a combined three decades in prison before they were exonerated earlier this year. He claims to work 110 hours a week and conduct 1,500 autopsies a year – earning him more than a million dollars annually.
The Innocence Project has formally asked for his medical license to be revoked, and this week the Hattiesburg American asked why Mississippi district attorneys are still supporting – and hiring—Hayne. Three DA’s told the newspaper that they had no problem with Hayne’s work. An editorial criticized these comments as ignorant:
This strikes as three ostriches putting their heads in the sand. How can these DA's be at all confident in Hayne's work given the information that has come out about the pathologist?
The DA's have been asked by the Innocence Project to turn over any documents pertaining to Hayne, including official reports on autopsies.
We hope they are complying. They must, if they believe in justice.
Meanwhile, the Legislature has funded $500,000 this year for a state medical examiner. The state has been without one since 1994 and if more of Hayne's work is found to be faulty, the state will have no one but itself to blame.
Read the full editorial here
. (Hattiesburg American, 05/04/08)
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