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:
DPS-STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER
THIS IS A NON-STATE SERVICE POSITION.
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.