Most autopsies in Alabama are performed by the State Department of Forensic Sciences, and records of those autopsies are expressly public by statute. Ala. Code § 36-18-2 (2001) ("The director [of the Department of Forensic Sciences] shall keep photographed or microphotographed reproductions of original reports of all investigations that he conducts in his office. Reproductions of such materials shall be public records and shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times."). County coroners may also require autopsies to be performed, pursuant to their duty to hold inquests under Alabama Code § 11-5-4 (1998). See also Ala. Code § 15-4-2 (1995) (examination of body and report by coroner; autopsy).
Since a county coroner is a public officer, see Ala. Code § 36-12-1 (2001), records of the county coroner's autopsies are public records subject to disclosure under the Public Records Law, unless there is a pending criminal investigation and the disclosure of their information will compromise the investigation. Op. Att'y Gen. Ala. No. 2007-015, 2006 Ala. AG LEXIS 142 (Dec. 4, 2006).