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Proposal Would Limit Public Access to Autopsy Reports
Do public autopsy reports put the public in danger? One state representative says it’s time to end open access to the full reports prepared by the state medical examiner.
Representative Scott Biggs, (R-Chickasha), filed an amendment to make the autopsy reports exempt under the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Representative Biggs says he filed his bill in response the murder of Reverend Carol Daniels in Anadarko.
Representative Biggs says the public release of the autopsy reports hurt the investigation into Daniels murder. However he would not address any questions about multiple leaks about the case from those close to the investigation. Representative Biggs says his bill would protect criminal investigations and make sure victims’ families are protected.
The plan to remove the public’s access to these records isn’t sitting well with everyone. Jaye Mendros is an attorney who has represented many families in efforts to get information released by the medical examiner’s office.
Mendros says in several cases the medical examiner’s report was inaccurate and allowed killers to walk free. The efforts of Mendros and the family of Chanda Turner led to a new law that gives families legal recourse to appeal rulings by the ME’s office. Mendros says in her cases the public autopsy reports allowed the public to see mistakes made by law enforcement and the medical examiner’s office.
Representative Biggs says the autopsy reports would only be kept confidential at the request of law enforcement. Mendros says past cases have shown that law enforcement agencies are not infallible and some cases were hindered by either incompetence or corruption.
The bill’s author, Representative Richard Morrissette says his original legislation only applied to limiting private bids and he opposes the language added by Representative Biggs. He is working to have that removed from the final draft of the bill.
Posted: Tuesday, March 12 2013, 09:36 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Safe room mandates remain rare in tornado states
May 24, 2013 07:24 GMT
By DAVID A. LIEB Associated Press
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- When a deadly tornado tore through the central Oklahoma city of Moore, many survivors emerged from their storm shelters to see their homes blown away.
The mayor suggested that storm shelters should perhaps be mandated for new homes. But that may be hard sell.
But not a single state currently requires storm shelters in new homes. And not even many communities do so.
Costs remain a deterrent despite the life-saving potential of personal storm shelters. So, too, does a general resistance to government mandates in politically conservative states in the nation's heartland where tornadoes are most prevalent.
Instead of a stick, Oklahoma currently offers a carrot to build storm shelters. It uses federal funds to award $2,000 rebates to residents who win a special storm-shelter lottery.
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From the FOX 25 First Forecast Center..Hello everyone...
It's Friday and the weather is looking good for the holiday weekend. Can't rule out isolated to random showers and t'storms from time to time but nothing organized. ...
Asia stocks extend losses after big sell-off
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks continued to retreat today after being routed the day before by unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing and fears the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its monetary stimulus.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.