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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77735 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Report and Recommendations of the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation on the Investigation of Sudden Death Cases
Corporate Author: New Jersey Cmssn of Investigation
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 183
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
New Jersey Cmssn of Investigation
Trenton, NJ 08625
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Recommendations are presented for reforming the investigative and administrative aspects of the investigation of sudden death cases in New Jersey.
Abstract: Several case studies of sudden deaths occurring between 1968 and 1976 in Camden County illustrate the criminal justice system's lax handling of sudden death investigations. Interviews with prosecutorial personnel in other counties revealed that all counties experienced deficient investigations of sudden deaths. The breakdown in handling sudden death cases often begins with a failure to enlist adequate medical examiner expertise in the initial direction of an investigation and in the control, preservation, and analysis of essential evidence. Thus, the report's recommendations emphasize the importance of a more professional medical examiner function if the entire chain of law enforcement performance in sudden death cases is to be totally effective. An expanded and upgraded medical examiner role is recommended on a regional basis in order to assure more professionalism in investigations. Since these investigations also involve both the county prosecutor and municipal police, the effectiveness of each of these law enforcement entities must also be improved. A more coordinated working relationship should be achieved between county and local authorities and the appropriate regional medical examiner acting under the authority of a more effective Office of State Medical Examiner. Improved police training is also needed. A detailed list of the recommendations and an appendix presenting background information and comments on the study from the superintendent of State police are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Coroners; Fatalities; Investigations; New Jersey; Services effectiveness
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