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Commissioners start work on new coroner's inquest plan

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Updated: 10/30/2012 8:09 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Clark County Commissioners head back to the drawing board after the Nevada Supreme Court struck down the coroner's inquest process involving officer-involved shootings on Thursday.

An inquest is the fact finding process used to determine how someone died at the hands of a police officer.

Commissioners now have to rewrite the ordinance.

Clark County has not had a coroner's inquest in two years, leaving 19 deadly force cases unanswered.

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Susan Brager and Commissioner Steve Sisolak are sponsoring an agenda item to start drafting a new ordinance.

Commissioners charged justices of the peace with the role of supervising inquests, but the Nevada Supreme Court says only the state Legislature can determine what justices of the peace do.

Commissioners will now appoint a hearing master to lead inquests: The question is how hearing masters will be selected.

“You’ve got to do what's best in everyone's interest … what's fair for everyone, and that's really difficult to do,” Sisolak said. “If everyone walks away a little unhappy with what we decided, that's probably a fair decision that we reached.”

Commissioners will consult Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

Metro is another critical voice. Sheriff Doug Gillespie has yet to weigh, in but commissioners want his input.
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