Homicide autopsies in Mississippi continue to lag behind national standards as crime has remained a flashpoint in the state legislature and the campaign trail. Incomplete homicide autopsies have piled up in Mississippi amidst tough-on-crime talk by state leaders ahead of the Nov. 7 general election, the Associated Press reports. The National Association of Medical Examiners dictates that 90% of autopsy reports should be returned within 60 to 90 days.
In 2022, an AP analysis based on state data and documents found that Mississippi’s system has long violated national standards for death investigations, accruing a severe backlog of autopsies and reports. Mississippi has the highest homicide mortality rate in the country, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.