coroner (kôrˈənər) [key], judicial officer responsible for investigating deaths occurring through violence or under suspicious circumstances. The office has been traced to the late 12th cent. Originally the coroner's duties were primarily to maintain records of criminal justice and to take custody of all royal property. In England this second function persists in his jurisdiction over treasure-trove. In his present-day work of determining cause of death, the coroner proceeds by means of the inquest whenever there is doubt. In several of the United States the coroner has been replaced by the medical examiner, who can only conduct post-mortem examinations, and who works in cooperation with the public prosecutor.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on coroner from Fact Monster:

  • coronation - coronation coronation, ceremony of crowning and anointing a sovereign on his or her accession to ...
  • Roundup of Recent Science Discoveries, 1999 - Roundup of Recent Science Discoveries, 1999 Ancestor of Mammals Discovered The fossil skull of a ...
  • Scone - Scone Scone , village, Perth and Kinross, central Scotland. Old Scone, west of the modern village ...
  • Thomas Noguchi - Biography of Thomas Noguchi, The "Coroner to the Stars"
  • What does it mean? sepulture - sepulture -- Listen to the pronunciation: WAV format or AU format Dignitaries from far and wide ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Legal Terms and Concepts

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe