Definition - What does Coroner mean?

A coroner is a public official responsible for determining causes of death in cases where a person has died suddenly or under suspicious circumstances.

The determinations of a coroner are often relevant to criminal cases and often serve as a key piece of the prosecution’s case.

In the United States, a coroner is typically a county officer.

Justipedia explains Coroner

A coroner is one of the most important people in a criminal investigation involving death. The coroner is one of the first officials, along with the police, called in to investigate a crime.

Coroners examine dead bodies, inspect suspicious scenes where deaths have happened and write official reports that may be used in criminal trials later on. Coroners may work closely with local physicians and consult them for opinions about the cause of death.

If a coroner cannot confidently declare a cause of death, many jurisdictions have inquisition procedures in place where a jury can help a coroner decide the cause of death.

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