Coroner's Inquest


A coroner’s inquest is an inquiry by the coroner, sometimes with the aid of a jury, into the cause of a person’s death. The inquest only determines cause of death, not who is culpable for the death. The coroner performs an autopsy but also summons those related to the person’s death, such as witnesses, those who found the deceased, others involved, and the police called to the scene. All information and testimony must be presented under oath and transcribed by a court reporter. Because the inquest is conducted under oath and recorded, testimony given at the inquest can be used in later criminal or civil trials (Patrick Andrews, "Brief Introduction to Coroner's Courts").


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