3.15.2012

My Continued Rant Against Medical Examiner Rulings

 Story

There is nothing more archaic than the language used in rulings by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.  To call it a "homicide" causes everyone to speculate and rumors to swirl.  But as the DA of Tarrant County has said before about ME rulings, "The word homicide does not mean crime," he said. "It just means that the death involved another person."

Really? So a person could die in an auto accident as a passenger that did not involve any negligence on the part of anyone -- it was simply an accident -- and it would be ruled a homicide? That's ridiculous.

But I've even got a problem with the medical examiner considering that the death involved "another person." There is a 99% chance that the ME did not send out an investigator to the accident scene. The only information the ME has personal knowledge of is what the body tells him through an examination. Yes, he can certainly rule that the death was due to a cerebral injury, but to rule she was a passenger or the victim of a "homicide" has absolutely nothing to do with that medical examination.

Edit: Let me say this again. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner will issue a "homicide" ruling even if a person's death was not the result of someone else's fault, blame or criminal conduct.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Causes me to speculate the driver was drunk.

Anonymous said...

Do medical examiners not confer with the police aka details of the accident?

Anonymous said...

If the driver is at fault of course the ME will rule a homicide.

Common sense thinking, sorry.

Anonymous said...

"causes everyone to speculate and rumors to swirl"

And we all know that not allowed on this blog.

Just the facts.

Anonymous said...

Come on Green,wake up an smell the Formaldehyde.

K Lynn said...

Please be careful with your comments if you don't know the whole story, Charlotte has ties to Decatur and many of her family members (me) read this blog.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe, just maybe, there's more to the story than you know (as usual).

If the driver of the car if factored as contributing to the accident, then, at best, that person is probably criminally negligent or, at worse, reckless. So, there is culpability on the driver.

Ergo, one person (driver) contributed to the death of another person (passenger). And what do we call it when people do this? Homicide.

Going from a homicide to a murder is a completely different subject. I just figured with Barry's long, and self-proclaimed, lustrious carreer, he would know better than to jump to conclusions. After all, I'm sure that's what most defense attorney's do from the start of things.

Stay Classy Counselor

Jack Daniels said...

homicide [ˈhɒmɪˌsaɪd]
n
1. (Law) the killing of a human being by another person

So what is ridiculous here?

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to see why BG was not re-elected as DA.

Anonymous said...

Definition of Homicide:

a person who kills another . 2: a killing of one human being by another

Again, common sense since the person killed was a passenger.

Hey, I'm open to rant against the ME with ya if you can prove there are cases that a ME ruled homicide that in fact were not.

You know...that the dead party did not die because of someone else. ;)

Anonymous said...

You're letting your lawyer brain get to you. lol

Innocent until proven guilty stuff.

Anonymous said...

Just heard on the news that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control.

Causing the death of a passenger by doing so will get you a homicide.

Anonymous said...

I think you proved your point Bubear. Folks see the word homicide and they start looking for someone to file charges against.

Anonymous said...

You as a driver are responsible for your passengers. What is the difference. Speed limits are posted for a reason. If you choose to exceed those limits then you have broken the law. It a person dies because of you breaking the law then yes I believe you are negligent. Does it take a rocket scientist to figure this out? If you choose to break the law then you deserve the punishment. That is the problem with this society today no consecquences for your actions when you break the law!

ANDY said...

NEGLIGENT AND HOMICIDAL I THINK ARE VERY DIFFERENT.

Anonymous said...

5:03...my cousin is the mother to Charlotte. She nor her husband filed charges against anyone. The DPS officer told her that night it was out of her hands, the state will file charges. They are not even thinking about what will happen to the driver at this time. We, as the family are in shock that Charlotte is gone from us.

Anonymous said...

Barry, even executions were listed as "homicide" until the last few years when Texas wrote a special law. If another person is involved, it's homicide.

Anonymous said...

Barry's right on this one. The ME makes these assinine pronouncements after an autopsy miles away from the scene of the incident while a full police investigation can take weeks.

The ME should stick with more plain language pronouncements: vehicle accident, etc.