Dr. Hayne Is Done

Monday, August 4th, 2008

My sources in Mississippi tell me that tomorrow afternoon the new commissioner of the state’s Department of Public Safety will announce that embattled medical examiner Dr. Steven Hayne will be removed from the state’s list of approved medical examiners.

Which means he’ll no longer be performing autopsies in Mississippi.  There may be other sanctions in the works, too.

There’s a press conference scheduled for 1:30pm CT.

Read my long investigative piece on Hayne from reason’s October issue here.  All of my follow-up reporting on Hayne here.

MORE: Jackson TV station WLBT has the first report.

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59 Responses to “Dr. Hayne Is Done”

  1. #1 |  Burrow Owl | 

    It’s about freakin’ time.

  2. #2 |  Jay | 


  3. #3 |  Mike | 

    If this is indeed true (and I hope it is) it would appear some congratulations would be in order to quite a few people, not the least yourself Radley.

    Good job.

  4. #4 |  annemg | 


    That’s all I can think of to say. :)

  5. #5 |  trouc | 

    Gonna third the congratulations here Radley! There’s no doubt you were a big part of this, just don’t let it get to your head, and keep on bustin’ some a$$.

  6. #6 |  Allie | 

    I second what trouc said exactly.

    Also, YESSSSSSS!

  7. #7 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Good job, Radley. This is literally going to keep innocent people out of prison (unless the next guy is worse, hard to imagine).

  8. #8 |  Bill Mill | 

    Great work, congrats.

  9. #9 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Ding dong the wicked witch is dead!!! : )

  10. #10 |  Alex | 

    Wow. Score one for the good guys. Great work from Radley and the IP. Congrats to the citizens of Mississippi.

  11. #11 |  Mike | 

    Radley, if this pans out, you have truly made a difference in the world. There’s only one thing to do at a time like this: strut.

  12. #12 |  Windypundit | 

    Nicely done.

  13. #13 |  Noel St. John | 

    Excellent news, excellent work. Congratulations, Radley!

  14. #14 |  Timon | 

    Well fucking done Radley!

  15. #15 |  BladeDoc | 

    Radley — strong work!

  16. #16 |  Josh | 

    Great job exposing this man, Radley. Like #10 says, score one for the good guys.

  17. #17 |  Alien | 

    Ditto on all the above… mighty fine work Radley.

  18. #18 |  Roger | 

    Great news. And great work, Radley. Congratulations.

  19. #19 |  Tokin42 | 

    Absolutely Fantastic! Nicely done to all involved, especially radley.

  20. #20 |  Nick Gallias | 

    I hope you’re right and this is an end to terrible injustice.
    I would offer you congrats, but you have only begun.
    Thanks for your hard work.

  21. #21 |  Fûz | 

    Not to throw a wet blanket on a well-deserved endzone dance—congratulations, Radley, avid reader over here—but the cops, prosecutors, and judges who depended on Hayne won’t take this gracefully.

  22. #22 |  Thomas Blair | 

    Do you have a tip jar? I’d like to buy you a pint.

    Thank you for your hard work.

  23. #23 |  Greg N. | 

    Many congratulations, Radley. The state of Mississippi ought to buy you a pint. You’re single-handedly making their state a better place, and you ought to be proud.

  24. #24 |  Eric | 

    Kudos, Radley. We’re proud of you.

  25. #25 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Thank you, Radley! :)

  26. #26 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Well done. As a person who appreciates the true potential of forensic science, and despises the frauds and incompetents out there, I thank you.

  27. #27 |  Anonymouse | 

    So two DNA exonerations, possible loss of his medical license, and he’s barred from doing autopsies ever again in Mississippi. All thanks to your work. They’ll probably now have to look at 20 years worth of old cases. Wonder how many people will have convictions overturned?

    And the $64K question: Do you think Patrick Frey (aka Patterico) will apologize to you now for saying the “real” reason you wrote about Hayne was so you could get rich off the Cory Maye case?

    Me neither!

  28. #28 |  raidsmith | 

    Great work, Radley! Kudos and congratulations and all of the things that have already been said above. I guess this is what a standing ovation looks like in a comments section.

  29. #29 |  Greg N. | 

    Makes this even more infuriating:


  30. #30 |  Chris in AL | 

    well done Radley

  31. #31 |  Burdell | 

    How does one go about nominating Radley for the Nobel Peace Prize?

  32. #32 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Congratulations on a fine piece of investigative journalism. You made a difference. Well done!

    (And here’s hoping Hayne now gets done like a dinner.)

  33. #33 |  Mikestermike | 

    Rock on Hoosier. BZ.

  34. #34 |  Blogger Balko Bags Dodgy Doctor | 

    […] to Radley Balko, whose dogged reporting on miscarriages of justice in Mississippi has led to the dismissal of the state’s most prolific medical examiner, Dr. Steven Hayne. Hayne’s bogus medical reports led to a capital murder conviction for Cory Maye, a man wrongly […]

  35. #35 |  Judi | 

    Well, I am speechless…but thanking God! I can’t wait to tell Devin!

    Yippee Cayeah!

    Guess The Little Rascals will just have to ‘make do’ without “Porky”.

    Thanks Radley, and thanks to everyone of you who take the time to blog, comment and speak out against injustices. No doubt everyone who did has a hand in this miracle!

  36. #36 |  The Brown Acid | 


  37. #37 |  KBCraig | 

    Pulitzer-worthy results, Radley!

    I’m reminded of some recent articles where prosecutors were legally obliged by a SCOTUS ruling to report to defense attorneys any case that might be in question because an officer’s credibility was suspect.

    Thanks for your “???????? ????” in exposing these cases!

  38. #38 |  Honeyko | 

    The governor of the state should pardon everyone ever convicted in which Hayne testified for the prosecution.

  39. #39 |  pfjo | 

    There are places on this earth that many of us wish to run and hide away, fearful of the overwhelming injustice in this world; injustice so great that few can summon the courage to fight against it. Radley Balko is such a man and the demise of Dr. Hayne is surely the first of many battles that he will win. I hope this keep you going for a few more years Mr. Balko.

  40. #40 |  something_feral | 

    Radley, excellent job. I sincerely hope that you are duly recognized for your efforts for justice.

    May you be richly blessed, and keep up the good work!

  41. #41 |  Jrob | 

    Just wanted to add to the list, THANK YOU!!!
    Tell your parents I said thank you too. They raised a good man.

  42. #42 |  chance | 

    You da man.

  43. #43 |  Frank | 

    Now the question has to be asked, why did the Mississippi government take so freaking long to do this?

    Ditto, the cops and prosecutors are going to be extremely unhappy. I’d watch your back the next time you visit the state — there will be lots of ugly people with guns who want a piece of your ass. Wouldn’t surprise me if all your license plates are already the subject of BOLOs.

  44. #44 |  Nick T | 

    Congrats, Radley! Tere is no understating what has happened here, you’ve struck a significant blow for justice in our country.

    I can’t wait to hear how the good doc explains this one in his warped concept of being targetted because … uh, what his stupid reason again? WHat will he do with those 193 hours per week that he works? I think he should try pumping gas.

  45. #45 |  claude | 

    good job!! :D

  46. #46 |  Ginger Dan | 

    Well done Radley! If you hadn’t kept the pressure on, this might never have happened. Let’s hope the next Medical Examiner is a a real doctor with real credentials.

    This is a great way to start the day. I’m going to leave it at that before you post about another WoD wrongful death and ruin my morning!

  47. #47 |  Joseph Weisenthal | 

    Great news. As someone whose wife is from Mississippi, glad you’ve helped make it a better place.

  48. #48 |  Jeff | 

    Awesome. I sometimes get depressed just reading the stuff that you so valiantly report. I can not imagine how it must be operating at the front lines. It must be a real joy for you to see Hayne finally fall, hopefully where he can do no more damage.

  49. #49 |  Danno49 | 

    Mother fucker must pay. Not sure if this is good enough after all of the innocent people he’s responsible for putting away but it’s a start. That said, I am extremely pleased that this piece of shit is out of the job. Absolutely brilliant work, Radley. Any early thoughts on if this helps Cory’s case toward getting him out of prison?

  50. #50 |  Lorraine Sumrall | 

    Radley, WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!! Being in Mississippi I couldn’t possibly be happier at this turn of events. We have a post-conviction motion hearing scheduled for August 18th, and this timing could not have been better as Hayne did the autopsy (wrongly!) in our case. I know the public defenders must be thrilled as well. I thank God for the bulldog that you are!

  51. #51 |  omar | 

    I’m glad my daily depression is making a difference. Keep up the good work, Radley. We all know that, secretly, you are Captain Great Journalism (superhero).

  52. #52 |  Ben | 

    Thanks and CONGRATS!!!

    You have saved many people from undeserved time and anguish that would have been spent in a jail cell.

  53. #53 |  B | 

    Congratulations, and well done.

    But seriously, I’d give serious thought to steering clear of MS for a while, or at least keeping a REALLY low profile when you’re there. You’ve no doubt pissed off some very powerful people.

  54. #54 |  John Jenkins | 

    First, congratulations. Second, don’t everyone get too happy here. Dr. Hayne is gone, but there are dozens, if not hundreds more like him who see it as their jobs to give prosecutors what the prosecutors want instead of presenting fairly what the data show. The criminal justice system is broken, and replacing the pieces of the puzzle won’t change the ugly picture it reveals when put together.

  55. #55 |  SusanK | 

    Congratulations Radley!
    BUT the linked WLBT article attributes the Innocence Project – giving you no love. Aren’t you the one that got this started and the IP just ran with it?
    Your loyal readers will give you tons of props but not the media?

  56. #56 |  Mark | 

    Just when I find myself without any faith in humanity to listen to uncomfortable truths, this happens. Congrats Radley on a job well done (even if this is only the first victory on a long road towards vindication of so many of this man’s victims).

  57. #57 |  Bronwyn | 

    Well, hallelujah! It’s about time we get some good news around here :)

  58. #58 |  pam | 

    Thanks Radley from one of Hayne’s victim’s supporters.

  59. #59 |  whiser | 

    cool dude