When someone dies, it's usually nice to know why. In the City and County of San Francisco, getting an official cause of death could take years. Years!

The San Francisco Examiner has a lengthy article detailing the extensive and on-going issues at the County Morgue which, in addition to being filled with dead bodies, also suffers from under-staffing, an outdated facility, and funding issues.

According to the Examiner, "While most autopsies are completed soon after death, the final report with the cause and manner of death can often take months or years. The industry standard is to have 90 percent of cases completed within 90 days. Still, last year at this time, the (San Francisco) office had more than 1,200 incomplete cases."

Bill Barnes of the City Administrator's office told the Ex, "We (the morgue) are currently accredited on a provisional basis."

Basically, the morgue is on probation. And months and months of scrutiny over the extensive backlog have had little impact on getting official causes of death for over a thousand… dead people.