Monday, November 7, 2011

New Law: Cowboys, Indians and The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office

Last week the Chanda Turner Reform Act went into effect in Oklahoma. The new law is groundbreaking. It provides families whose loved ones deaths were ruled "suicides" the ability to appeal the medical examiners ruling in hopes of having the cause of death changed.

The new law is appropriately named after Chanda Turner 23, shot to death at her home on July 12, 2000. She was ending the relationship and moving on with her life minus him. Her boyfriend who has significant ties to the town from everything to erected street signs, park plaques to a relative as one the original founding town member of Pauls Valley, claimed Chanda shot herself.

Crime scene photo's would tell a different story, the truth. This includes the photo's taken of defense wounds on the shooter. But, the heavy handed political powers in town, the very people that magically appear on the original crime scene log the evening of the 12th or do not appear depending on which log you view, cover-up the truth. Just so a powerful family in my opinion can keep their son out of prison.

Sadly, no one thinks about the prison for Chanda Turner's family. They endured a nightmare for nearly a dozen years. From the day their daughter was murdered they have fought against the powers of political corruption and cowardice by their own community. Last year while in Oklahoma, I witnessed firsthand many turn their backs during my trip for the families seeking justice and those on the Justice For The Dead site created by attorney Jaye Mendros. By mid-week the tide had turned people were finally listening.

Now, with the new in place, the train to justice has pulled out of the station and is headed on track to the halls of justice.

The journey for justice is not only about a new law, but a group of people, strangers really who came together for a cause greater than themselves. The power of one family, the Turner's reaching out to others whose loved ones also lost their lives by someone else's hand. The medical examiners office(s) in the state of Oklahoma recklessly stamping death certificates as suicides when in actuality are homicides.

Make no mistake if you are a family of a suspicious death or you know in your heart that a loved one did not die by their own hand, do not give up. Fight for justice in their untimely silence. If you do not believe you can make changes to correct a corrupt or blind system, get a hold of me and I will connect you to Joe and Donna Turner!

Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is a specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies and high risk cases and available for personal consultations through the Institute. She is also part of the team at Management Resources Limited of New York.

Susan is a contributor to Forbes : Crime, She Writes a powerhouse lineup of female true crime professionals, experts and authors providing commentary about the hottest topics on crime, justice, and law from a woman’s perspective.

Susan is the author of "Time's Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships,"Moving out, Moving on, and Defending Out Lives. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host on Crime Wire.


  1. Thank you Susan for helping get the information out on the new okla law. Now okla families who are in battle with the okla medical examiner's office have an avenue to get into court to right the wrong. Before families who found themselves in the position as we were had no means to move forward. Families were stuck with what we got from the medical examiner's office no matter how wrong it was. Too many families suffering and too many victims have not recieved the justice they so deserve for what was done to them. Looking forward to our day in okc court to right the wrong done to my daughter Chanda. Long overdue!
    God bless you Susan for all you do for all the victims and their families.

  2. Wow what an amazing blog!! So important and underadressed.


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