CORONER, n. [Law Lat., a crown.] An officer whose office is concerned principally with pleas of the crown. One chief part of his duty is, when a person is slain or dies suddenly or in prison, to inquire into the manner of his death. This must be done by a jury, on sight of the body, and at the place where the death happened. In England, the coroner is to inquire also concerning shipwrecks, and certify whether wrecks or not, and who is in possession of the goods; also concerning treasure-trove. As a ministerial officer, the coroner is the sheriffs substitute; and when an exception can be taken to the sheriff, for suspicion of partiality, process is awarded to the coroner.In some of the States, in America, there is a coroner, but his principal or only duty is to inquire into the causes of untimely death. In Connecticut there is no such officer, the duty being performed by a constable or justice of the peace.
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