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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

State Medical Examiner Fired

WLBT has learned Dr. Steven Hayne will no longer be doing medical examinations for the state of Mississippi.

Hayne has conducted 80% of all criminal autopsies in Mississippi for more than 20 years.

We're told Dr. Hayne performed his last autopsy early Monday morning and received notice of his termination via fax at his Brandon office at noon.

Hayne has come under fire from the Innocence Project, which investigates cases of people wrongfully convicted of crimes.

Earlier this year, Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks were cleared in two separate child murders they were wrongfully convicted of in the 1990's. Hayne conducted the autopsies in both cases.

The Innocence Project asked the state board of medical licensure to revoke Hayne's license accusing him of providing false and misleading autopsy reports and testimony in criminal prosecutions.

We went to Hayne's office in Brandon, Pathology Consultations, Inc., for comment, but we were told by his assistants, he was not in at the time. Hayne did not return our calls for comment.

Sources tell (WLBT) Dr. Hayne has 90 days to get all of his autopsy reports in order and submitted to the Department Of Public Safety.

Mississippi has been without an official state medical examiner for more than a decade, but Hayne has served as designated pathologist.

Angie Underwood, public affairs spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, declined comment only saying all questions would be answered at a press conference to be held at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon at public safety headquarters. [Mark Godsey]

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