Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences - Director Most Secure Position There IsRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Mar 27 2019 12:11 PM
ALABAMA: The number one failure in the criminal justice system at this time is the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. The second perhaps is the Alabama Department of Mental Health.
Most officials do not know the Director of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences is appointed by the Alabama Attorney General. Once appointed, the Director has more job security then even a United States Federal Judge.
Read the Code of Alabama law below if you do not believe me. " The director may be removed by the Governor ONLY upon such proof as would authorize the impeachment of a district attorney of this state.
At least the District Attorney comes up for election every four or six years. But once the Director of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences is appointed, he or she is there. Unless they commit an impeachable act.
NEXT... the Coroner not the Governor, Attorney General, Circuit Judge or District Attorney's name goes on the death certificate. The Coroner's name is on the death certificate.
But under Alabama law the Coroner has no authority to direct the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to examine or autopsy a body.
DIRECTLY FROM CODE OF ALABAMA
"Said investigations of unlawful, suspicious or unnatural deaths and crimes as are ordered by the Governor, the Attorney General, any circuit judge, or any district attorney in the State of Alabama, and the director and his staff shall cooperate with the coroners, sheriffs and other police officers in Alabama in their investigations of crimes and deaths from unlawful, suspicious or unnatural causes."
The Coroner has the duty and obligation of investigating deaths unattended or deaths caused by the act of another with no authority to order the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to do a autopsy.
This places the Coroner in a bad situation.
And Forensic only wants to do obvious homicides. I am stupid. But if a person is standing and talking and someone walks up and places a gun to their head and pulls the trigger, it is pretty obvious the cause of death.
Bu the 30 year old with no medical history who drops dead for no reason, Forensic does not want to do autopsies. And those are the ones needed.
It is/has taken three and four years for forensic examinations to be returned to law enforcement agencies on drug cases. That means a defendant's case sits there and nothing happens until forensic report comes in. The case is never presented to a Grand Jury.
You know what can be done to improve that, which I say is a management issue? Nothing. Because remember this state law: The director may be removed by the Governor only upon such proof as would authorize the impeachment of a district attorney under the laws of this state.
CODE OF ALABAMA
There shall be a Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences who shall be appointed by the Attorney General upon certification by the Director of State Personnel as meeting job qualifications specified for this position in the state service. The director may be removed by the Governor only upon such proof as would authorize the impeachment of a district attorney under the laws of this state.
(Acts 1935, No. 225, p. 616, §2; Code 1940, T. 14, §387; Acts 1980, No. 80-591, p. 945, §1.)
Duties generally; maintenance, inspection, and copying of reports of investigations of Director of Forensic Sciences; police authority of Director of Forensic Sciences and assistants.
The duties of the director shall be to make such investigations, including any necessary autopsy, to be performed by physicians licensed to practice medicine in Alabama and recognized and trained in forensic medicine and pathology; provided, however, that the director may waive this requirement temporarily whenever a medical examiner vacancy exists which he is seeking to fill. Said investigations of unlawful, suspicious or unnatural deaths and crimes as are ordered by the Governor, the Attorney General, any circuit judge, or any district attorney in the State of Alabama, and the director and his staff shall cooperate with the coroners, sheriffs and other police officers in Alabama in their investigations of crimes and deaths from unlawful, suspicious or unnatural causes. The director shall within his discretion visit the scene of any crime in the state for the purpose of securing evidence for the state. The director shall furnish a certified copy of his report of any investigation that the department conducts to the person or persons who ordered the investigation conducted. The director shall keep the original reports of all investigations that he conducts in his office; provided, that the director shall be authorized to photograph or microphotograph any record, document or photograph two years old or older currently maintained or acquired, received or produced in the future as a result of his duties as prescribed by law. Such photographs, microfilms or prints made therefrom, when duly authenticated, shall have the same force and effect at law as the original record or of a record made by any other legally authorized means and may be offered in like manner and shall be received in evidence in any court where such original record or record made by other legally authorized means could have been so introduced and received. In like manner, reproductions made from such records by photographic or like process, when otherwise in compliance with applicable statutes, rules and regulations, shall be received and treated in any court of this state as fully as would a transcription or reproduction of such records made by any other means or process. All original records, documents, and photographs two years old or older currently maintained and acquired in the future may be destroyed at the discretion of the director, provided photographed or microphotographed reproductions of the destroyed material are maintained. The director shall furnish a certified copy in the form of reproductions from the photographed or microphotographed reports of any investigation that he conducts to the person or persons who ordered the investigation conducted. The director shall keep photographed or microphotographed reproductions of original reports of all investigations that he conducts in his office. Reproductions of such materials shall be public records and shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times. Any person desiring reproductions of original reports shall be furnished same upon payment of the fee now prescribed by law.
It shall be the further duty of the director to cooperate with the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and the State Veterinarian in their investigations of deaths of domestic animals in cases of suspected criminal poisoning of such animals. The director shall perform such other duties as are prescribed by the Governor or the Attorney General of Alabama.
The director and his designated assistants shall exercise the same police authority as any deputy sheriff or state trooper in the State of Alabama.
(Acts 1935, No. 225, p. 616, §2; Acts 1939, No. 440, p. 584, §1; Code 1940, T. 14, §388; Acts 1951, No. 124, p. 353, §1; Acts 1976, No. 498, p. 623, §1; Acts 1980, No. 80-591, p. 945, §1.)