March 2, 2005

No charges will be brought in Silvis slaying

From the Violent Quad Cities file:

A coroner's jury has determined that the stabbing death of Perry Bingham, 1150 41st Street, Moline, was his own fault.
Bingham was stabbed by his ex-wife's boyfriend after he entered her Silvis home and pushed her through a window. After a struggle with the boyfriend, Bingham was stabbed and died shortly afterwards.

The jury also heard testimony from the medical examiner in the Adrianne Reynolds case that a cause of death could not be conclusively determined due to the dismemberment of her body and the fact that it was burned.

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At 3/02/2005 11:24 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

I hate to overstep my bounds, and I certainly concede that I am no forensic pathologist, but I suspect that the cause of death for Adrianne Reynolds may just be a homicide.

At 3/03/2005 12:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Keen insight indeed Dissenter. ;-)
It does seem rather odd that they have to pay a guy with 8+ years of advanced medical training to come to the conclusion that he can't come to a conclusion.

And as you say, I think we can safely rule out an accidental death.

And your comments are a breath of fresh air. Thanks.

At 3/03/2005 8:05 AM, Blogger Dissenter said...

I advanced the argument a few years ago that the position of "coroner" is an antiquated and unnecessary post, at least as it exists in its current form. Coroners are very rarely forensic pathologists. They are almost never physicians. What are they? Funeral home directors! If I am discovered in my home, hopefully several decades from now, with lips blue and hands clammy, I may indeed be dead. But I sincerely hope that the declaration of death will be made by someone medically trained in making that determination. Also, if there is a suspicious death, the coroner does not investigate it. He hires a forensic pathologist to do so. So why do we have coroners? Is it truly our intent to have official conduits for private funeral home business?

At 3/03/2005 11:18 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Excellent point as ususal dissenter, and one that I'd never considered.

Just what DOES the coroner do that a hired pathologist could not do? And would the cost of hiring a full-time pathologist or professional medical examiner be justified?

And indeed, no doubt everyone would hope that a qualified person highly trained in the area would be the one making any declarations on cause of death for themselves or their loved ones, especially were the cause of death open to question.

What could the justification for the current system be, other than the funeral home "first dibs" scenario?

Could it be a cost savings? Do they assume that the coroner is capable of dealing with so-called "routine" deaths?

I'd like to think that all deaths are thoroughly looked into for possible foul play. And considering the many stealthy ways to kill a person, I'd like to know that potential murderers aren't walking away scott free.

For instance, say an elderly person dies in their home and there's evidence of a heart attack. A coroner would likely attribute the death to that and walk away.

But further investigation may show that the person was given a drug that induced the heart attack.
Perhaps a relative that was tired of caring for their parent decided to off them. Would a coroner detect this, or even suspect it?

It's a valid issue. Anyone know just why a coroner is necessary?

At 3/03/2005 11:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And if we really want to kick up a duststorm here, we could ask why the township layer of government is necessary. (but if anyone wants to discuss that, we'll post it on it's own topic.)

At 3/03/2005 1:08 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Dope, you have once again eloquently amplified my exact point. Keep it up, and we could one day be running mates.

The position of coroner has been rendered, in large part, wholly meaningless as a consequence of the absence of qualifications for the position. Most coroners use their positition as coroner as a feeder for their private funeral homes. One wonders what might happen if legislation were passed which provides that it is unlawful for a coroner to have any interest whatsoever in any funeral home operation at times when he/she is coroner.

I appreciate that we do need official declarations of death, but I suggest that those declarations should be made by a physician or forensic pathologist. If the counter-argument is made that some deaths are so obvious that such a medical expert is unnecessary, then in such instances why not have a police officer declare the death? I am NOT arguing that a police officer should be empowered to do this. Rather, I argue only that either a medical expert should do it (which I do believe), or anyone can.


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