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Police Use of Electrical Weapons - Term Paper Example

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Electrical weapons are most frequently utilized when fatal force is not suitable; fatal force is acceptable but smaller force may hold back the attacker; and fatal force is reasonable but its application could create security effects, for instance, damage to passersby or undesirable damage to property as well as atmosphere (MacDonald et al, 2009). Study into electrical technologies has an extended account in the Department of Justice. The Attorney General and the National Science Foundation organized the first forum on the issue during 1972. During 1986, Attorney General of that time convened a subsequent nationwide forum on electrical technologies in reaction to the United States Supreme Court judgment, which restricted the permitted application of lethal force against murderers. Due to the utilization of electricity along with the claim of the weapon being non-fatal, debate has started on particular occurrences concerning the weapon as well as the use of the weapon in general. Basically, debate has been focused on the rationalization of the application of the weapon in some particular occurrences, and, in a number of instances, health issues that are stated to be as a result of the use of the electrical weapon. “Tests conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that electrical weapon did not interfere with pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. A study conducted by emergency medicine physicians at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center showed no lasting effects of the electrical weapon on healthy test subjects. However, electrical weapon no longer claims the devices are non-lethal, instead saying they are more effective and safer than ‘other use of force’ options” (Bozeman et al, 2009). At present, stun guns - most common type of electrical weapons - are programmed to be triggered in automatic five-second bursts, even though the police officer can discontinue the energy charge on any time by using the security control. The charge can as well be delayed further than five seconds if the trigger is held down constantly. The operative can as well impose recurring shock cycles with every pull of the trigger provided that both barbs stay connected to the subject. The single technological restrain to the number or extent of the “electrical cycles is the life of the battery, which can be ten minutes or more” (Davison, 2009). A recent study showed that the threshold of energy considered necessary to stimulate lethal ‘ventricular fibrillation’ declined noticeably with every consecutive burst of pulses; though, single pulse may give adequate energy to stimulate lethal ‘ventricular fibrillation’ in a number of instances. The threshold for females may be fewer. Even though the stun gun is a programmable tool, the controlling software does not restrict the amount of the ‘bursts of pulses’ as well as the time between bursts as the trigger is held down constantly, “or the number of times the shock cycles can be repeated” (Kroll & Ho, 2009). Therefore, the design does not sufficiently lessen the possibility that the sufferer's heart goes into a fatal ‘ventricular fibrillation’. Critics declare that risk-averse police officers make use of electrical weapons in circumstances where they would have utilized more conventional, less aggressive substitutes, for instance attempting to talk with a spotted suspect. Existing police guiding principle let stun guns to be utilized pre-emptively, “ ...Show more
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Running Head: Police Use of Electrical Weapons? Police Use of Electrical Weapons? Police Use of Electrical Weapons? Electrical weapons were produced to give police force, corrections, and armed forces workers a substitute to fatal force…
Police Use of Electrical Weapons
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