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Tennesseans claim flawed medical examiner led to wrongful convictions

Tennesseans claim flawed medical examiner led to wrongful convictions
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Dr. Charles Harlan talks about his job in a March 13, 1986, file photo in front of the new $915,000 forensics center next to Metro General Hospital that is almost finished. Dr. Harlan became Nashville's first medical examiner when he came here from Memphis in 1983.

Nashville Tennessean

  • Charles Harlan was suspended without pay as an assistant Davidson County medical examiner in 1994.
  • One man caught in his wake is Wayne Burgess, convicted of killing his girlfriend’s young child years after Harlan’s errors began to be uncovered.

Charles Harlan confirmed a patient’s death to her family by fax: “She is green and has maggots crawling on her.”

He once misidentified the bodies of two inmates killed in a car crash and sent their remains, still shackled, to the wrong families.

Once, a Tennessee man was pulled over, alive, two years after Harlan incorrectly identified a burned corpse and declared him dead.

Story Credit: usatoday.com

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