A coroner is an independent judicial official who investigates human deaths. Most coroners are elected officials who lack the specialized medical training that would allow them to conduct autopsies. That job falls to the medical examiner, who is a physician, and typically serves by appointment. The coroner’s role at a crime scene depends on the jurisdiction. Some coroners serve as administrators, while others oversee the handling of the body, and call legal inquiries in suspicious death cases.

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