Criminal Justice

Job Opening in Mississippi


The good news is that for the first time in more than a decade, Mississippi is looking for a real state medical examiner, instead of relying on the disreputable Dr. Steven Hayne to do the state's autopsies in criminal cases.  The following job opening recently appeared on the Mississippi State Personnel Board:

Note: Must be certified in Forensic Patholgy (sic) by the
American Board of Pathology. Salary is negotiable.
You may apply electronically through this website
or mail your State of Mississippi application to the
Department of Public Safety
Attn: Human Resources
PO Box 958
Jackson MS 39205 

Unfortunately, the link to the opening takes you to a "file not found" page. 

The other problem is that the salary—$72,389.76—isn't likely to attract many qualified candidates, particularly given the troubled history of the office, and that whoever gets the job is going to have a lot of cleaning up to do.

For comparison, the state of Alaska recently advertised for the same position with a salary and benefits package of $265,000.

The best hope for Mississippi is that an esteemed, possibly retired doctor takes the job despite the low salary solely for the good of the profession, and to put Dr. Hayne out of business. 

In the meantime, Hayne is still doing the vast majority of the state's autopsies.

More on Dr. Hayne next week.

NEXT: The Long Weekend Political Thread: You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss

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  1. Do you realize how much higher the cost of living is in Alaska as opposed to Mississippi?

  2. Not nearly high enough to make up for the differences in salary.

  3. Good job Radley. Keep up the agitating. I suspect if you weren’t making noise it would never have even gotten this far. Perhaps they are going to try to quietly sweep Hayne under the rug at this point. Obviously that’s not good enough but at least he could do no more harm.

  4. Nice Hippocratic Oath reference, ktc2.

    Also, I’m not going to take a cheapshot at Mississippi’s educational system concerning the typo in the ad posting.

  5. Why not, Art? The problem, after all, is not that it’s in Mississippi- but rather that it’s run by the State of Mississippi.

    Very good job, Radley. This is journalism at its best. Hopefully we’ll see something like with the new Dallas DA- with the new guy doing a total, comprehensive review of all his predecessor’s cases.

    What’s the possibility of criminal charges against Mr. (he stopped deserving the title “Doctor” a long time ago, medical degree or no) Hayne if he is fired? I understand at least a few of the prosecutors have become cognizant of his fraud, correct?

  6. Maybe that’s $72,389.76, plus commissions and “honoraria”.

    Might make a difference.

  7. Why the concern over the starting salary? Once the bribes from DA’s and Chiefs of Police start rolling in, most of the other ME’s will be pick up his/her laundry . . .

  8. The average medical student graduated with debt of $139,000 (2007 number) and in order to become a forensic pathologist you need a 4-5 year pathology residency (usually 5) and then a 1-2 year forensic fellowship during which time you make between $30-40k/year and put your debt in forbearance.

    The likelihood that anyone would take that job is negligible — which is obviously why it’s posted. “See we TRIED to get someone but it’s no good. Guess we’ll have to keep using this Hayne guy.”

  9. “Salary is negotiable.”

  10. This leitmotif of Balko’s, that bureaucratic underpayment is somehow central to government corruption, is both un-simpleminded and libertariantastic.

  11. Here and I thought this would be a tasteless thread about Jesse Helms’ death with someone getting his state wrong. Oh well…

  12. Sarcasmotarian – Pointing out that they won’t be able to hire anyone at that salary is an unlibertarian leitmotif? That’s silly.

  13. “Not nearly high enough to make up for the differences in salary.”

    Um. Maybe part of the difference is required to attract someone to move to Alaska.

    Also, the Alaska ad notes: “The annual salary range is $152,000 to $195,000 DOE, plus a very generous benefits package.” So the difference in actual *salary* isn’t as vast.

    I get the impression Mississippi tends to be pretty skinflinty with spending, too, where Alaska is probably more free-spending what with all their oil royalty income.

    It would be more interesting to see a salary figure for a state more like Miss.

  14. Great work on this Radley.

  15. The best I could find is Virginia, where state medical examiners get from $91,324 to “market” (pay grades 8 & 9).

  16. To be fair, Alaska’s cost-of-living isn’t exactly comparable to Mississippi’s.

  17. More on Dr. Hayne next week.

    Dammit, Radley. Now you’ve made me stop looking forward to next week.

  18. “Not nearly high enough to make up for the differences in salary.”

    The problem is that you’re confusing patholgy with pathology. Pathology has investigative elements, where patholgy does not. It’s like the difference between an optician and an opthamologist, really. Comparing the salary offered for a pathologist with that offered for a replacement for Mississippi’s resident patholgist is a category error.

  19. Yeah I cant see anyone with a medical degree jumping on that position. My wife is an RN and makes that much in Florida.


  20. The state of Mississippi may have to not only reach DEEPER into their cinched wallets to increase the salary for a QUALIFIED MEDICAL EXAMINER. Just WAIT (and it is going to happen) until they admit Hayne has perjured himself thousands of times on the witness stand in these cases. Hayne perjures himself from the git-go by stating he is ‘board certified’ then the LYING continues as he gives the D.A.’s the ‘autopsy findings’ they have requested…Yep, the LITTLE RASCALS are going down and I will be there to watch the descent.

    Not ONLY will they have to re-try cases but will have to PAY UP when these EXONERATED PEOPLE (and there will be more than a busload) SUE the STATE for WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS!

    Devin Bennett, Jeffrey Havard (on death row), Henry Moses, Brett Jones (age 15 when sentenced) and Henry Moses (serving life sentences) are among few of Hayne’s HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of victims. Innocent of the crimes Steven Hayne formulated in his own warped mind and then gives these careless, unethical, unprofessional unqualified ‘opinions’ in a court of law.

    How can we lay our heads down at night and sleep? How can we celebrate another holiday without justice for these people who languish everyday in a cell?

    God bless you Radley. I pray each day the GOD gives you the strength and wisdom to continue to fight for this long overdue justice.

    I am in touch with Devin and his attorney on a weekly basis. To say that Devin and Jeffrey are grateful to you is more than an understatement. You are the VOICE for those who have been silenced and condemned.


  21. Do you need to be a “people person” to work with dead people? Maybe some highly qualified individual, who also lacks social skills, might enjoy proding at dead bodies. Someone might even offer to do it for free. Just sayin…

  22. I get the impression from watching TV that being a forensic pathologist is a non-stop sequence of exciting, mystery-filled adventures. Surely they’ll have plenty of applicants.

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