Download This Version in Microsoft Word format
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 22, 2007
Introduced by Senators Knotts, Elliott, Grooms, Drummond, Ford, Anderson, McGill and Mescher
S. Printed 5/22/07--H.
Read the first time April 18, 2007.
TO AMEND SECTION 17-5-50, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VACANCIES IN THE OFFICE OF CORONER, SO AS TO REVISE THE MANNER IN WHICH A VACANCY IS FILLED AND FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH THE DUTIES OF THE CORONER SHALL BE PERFORMED; TO AMEND SECTION 17-5-70, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTIES BY THE COUNTY CORONER, SO AS TO PERMIT THE COUNTY CORONER TO ALSO APPOINT INVESTIGATORS AS WELL AS DEPUTIES AND TO MAKE THESE APPOINTMENTS DISCRETIONARY RATHER THAN MANDATORY; TO AMEND SECTION 17-7-10, RELATING TO ORDERING OF AUTOPSIES, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE CORONER AND MEDICAL EXAMINER TO IMMEDIATELY REQUEST AN AUTOPSY IF A CHILD'S DEATH IS UNATTENDED; TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-5915, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE PURPOSES AND DUTIES OF THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION IN REGARD TO INVESTIGATING CHILD DEATHS, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH AND CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH AUTOPSIES ARE PERFORMED IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-5920, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF THE STATE CHILD FATALITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMITTEE ALSO SHALL MEET WITH THE CORONER FROM THE COUNTY IN WHICH CHILD DEATHS OCCUR; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 17-5-80 RELATING TO A MAGISTRATE ACTING AS A CORONER IN CERTAIN CASES.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 17-5-50 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
In the event of a vacancy in the office of coroner, the Governor may fill the office by appointment, as provided in Section 4-11-20. In the event of a vacancy in the office of coroner, the Governor shall fill the office by appointment as provided in Section 4-11-20. The chief magistrate of the county or his designee shall serve as coroner until such time as the Governor appoints a qualified replacement, and he takes office."
SECTION 2. Section 17-5-70 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 73 of 2001, is further amended to read:
"Section 17-5-70. A county coroner
may shall appoint one or more deputies or investigators to be approved by the judge of the circuit or by any circuit judge presiding therein, who must take and subscribe the oath prescribed by the constitution prior to before entering upon the duties of appointment as a deputy coroner. The oath may be administered by any officer authorized to administer oaths in the county. The appointment must be evidenced by a certificate thereof, signed by the coroner, and continue at the coroner's pleasure. The coroner may take a bond and surety from his deputy as he considers necessary to secure the faithful discharge of the duties of the appointment, but the coroner must always be answerable for the neglect of duty or misconduct in office of his deputy coroner. When duly qualified, as herein required, the deputy coroner may do and perform any or all of the duties appertaining to the office of the coroner."
SECTION 3. Section 17-5-520 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 17-5-520. (A) In addition to the powers vested in other law enforcement officials to order an autopsy, the coroner or medical examiner is authorized to determine that an autopsy be made.
(B) The coroner or medical examiner shall immediately request an autopsy if a child's death occurs as defined in Section 17-5-540. The autopsy must be performed as soon as possible by a pathologist with forensic training."
SECTION 4. Section 20-7-5915(B)(1) and (3) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 73 of 2001, is further amended to read:
"(B) To achieve its purpose, the department shall:
(1) upon receipt of a report of a child death from the county coroner or medical examiner, as required by Section 17-5-540, investigate and gather all information on the child fatality. The coroner or medical examiner shall immediately
must request an autopsy if SLED determines that an autopsy is necessary. The autopsy must be performed by a pathologist with forensic training as soon as possible. The forensic pathologist must shall inform the department of the findings within forty-eight hours of completion of the autopsy. If the autopsy reveals the cause of death to be pathological or an unavoidable accident, the case must be closed by the department. If the autopsy reveals physical or sexual trauma, suspicious markings, or other findings that are questionable or yields no conclusion to the cause of death, the department immediately must begin an investigation;
(3) upon receipt of additional investigative information, reopen a SLED case, and request in writing as soon as possible for the coroner to reopen a case for another coroner's inquest;"
SECTION 5. Section 20-7-5920(B)(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 73 of 2001, is further amended to read:
"(B) To achieve its purpose, the committee shall:
(1) meet with the department no later than one month after the department receives notification by the county coroner or medical examiner pursuant to Section 17-5-540 to review the investigation of the death
;. The Child Fatality Advisory Committee shall notify the county coroner or medical examiner about the review meeting and request that the county coroner or medical examiner attend the review meeting;"
SECTION 6. Section 17-5-80 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2:46 P.M.