Friday, June 05, 2009

Taser Creep

Orin Kerr at Volokh reports on a Niagara County Court ruling against a motion for suppression of DNA evidence, forcibly obtained when police "tased" a suspect's to obtain his "compliance" with a warrant requiring that his DNA be collected for testing.

From the ruling:
The Defendant argues that the use of the Taser is per se unreasonable because of the excessive amount of pain it causes and the danger of serious physical harm it creates. However, while counsel has mentioned numerous times the device inflicts 50,000 volts, the Court must admit it does not have the scientific knowledge necessary to interpret that fact. It sounds like a high number but what is its relevance to the force imposed and the pain inflicted. There was absolutely no evidence presented to the Court that this is a dangerous amount of voltage and the defendant has presented no evidence of the actual effect or dangers of this device.
One must wonder how authorities ever obtained any compliance at all before these increasingly ubiquitous defensive devices were invented?

(And yes Orin, it's torture, even on the lowest setting - it is a high voltage fist to the face - or in this case, shoulder).

As they say in the movies, "we have ways to make you talk..."

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