SB 1303 : Coroner: county office of the medical examiner.

Currently, California is one of the last states to maintain a Sheriff-Coroner model to investigate suspicious deaths.  In this model, an elected official, the Sheriff, is charged with conducting autopsies and investigating suspicious deaths, including those involving a law enforcement officer. After recent examples out of San Joaquin County demonstrated the drawbacks of a Sheriff-Coroner model UAPD worked with Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), an active UAPD member, to put forward SB 1303.

The legislation would have given counties with 500,000 or more residents the choice of whether to create an independent office of the medical examiner or retain the sheriff-coroner position and adopt a policy to refer cases where the sheriff-coroner may have a conflict to a county that has an independent medical examiner.

The overall goal of this bill was to safeguard our criminal justice system by insulating physicians from undue pressure and intrusion by individuals with no medical training. 

After passing through both houses, the bill was vetoed by Governor Brown on September 18, 2018. UAPD will continue to partner with our allies in healthcare to address the issue in the coming year. 

SB 1303 Digital Democracy California