Dow Constantine Wants to Speed Up Police Shooting Inquests

From the PI.Com:

Constantine has ordered that inquest hearings be held within 90 days of when the case is assigned to a judge. Inquest hearings can take up to six or seven months to complete, possibly causing more hardship for families and putting strain on law enforcement agencies.

Inquests are intended to establish a public record of the facts surrounding shootings or in-custody deaths involving law enforcement in King County. Typically, a six-member jury is impaneled to hear testimony, review evidence and rule on the cause of death. The jury does not decide whether deadly force was justified.


There were 15 deaths in 2009 that the county executive ordered to be reviewed. There have three so far this year. The change likely would mean three to five fewer cases per year, which frees up court time, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff to county Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.