Ruth serves on coronor's inquest panel

Christina Stueve Sep. 20, 2011, 3:35pm


Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth wore a juror's badge on Monday as opposed to the black robe he normally wears in court.

Ruth is part of a coroner's inquest, according to Linda Murray, Madison County Administrative Bailiff. The coroner's inquest is a seven-juror panel set up for unexpected deaths in the last 30 to 60 days in Madison County.

Murray explained the only types of people excluded from jury duty are police officers and fire fighters or anyone suffering from a permanent illness. The panel is investigating three deaths.

"When someone dies, the coroner's inquest helps decide how the person dies," Murray said.

The law says that in all counties, in cases of apparent suicide, homicide or accidental death or in other cases within the discretion of the coroner, the coroner may summon eight persons drawn from petit jurors to serve on the inquest panel.

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