I was doing a case review for our next regional Child Death Review Team meeting and I was struck by several aspects. These reviews are “secret” so I can not discuss names or details, but I did want (need) to vent on one point.
This was a small, young child who died. It was the opinion of the medical staff who participated in the child’s care, as well as the physician who did the autopsy and others who reviewed the case at the time that this death occurred at the hands of another, i.e. it was a homicide, as defined in our state coronial system.
The line that got me in the voluminous record that I reviewed was: “police and the State’s Attorney (Office) declined to file criminal charges”.
I (as do all of my deputies) do every thing we can to advocate for those that can no longer advocate for themselves. All those that have died can no longer advocate for themselves, but especially those children who die and were unable to advocate for themselves before their death are particularly vulnerable. It is yet another role of the coroner to advocate for justice.