Lethal or Less Than Lethal

Lethal or Less Than Lethal

Lethal or Less-than-Lethal: Should the taser be considered a Lethal or Less-than-Lethal weapon?

Shawn Carter

May 12, 2011

California State University Stanislaus

Table of Contents:

I. Abstract
II. What is a Taser and how does it Work
III. The Possible Health Effects of the Taser
IV. The Effects the Taser has on Police Departments
V. What research has not been addressed for the Taser
VI. Taser Synthesis
VII. Possible Research on the Taser that could be done in the Future

I. Abstract

The taser gun has become a popular tool used by peace officers to subdue violent subjects. One of the major concerns for the subjects that had been shot with a taser gun is the effects on their health.

II. What is a taser and how does it work?

The taser is a handgun, used for short range combat up to 25 feet. It operates by shooting a pair of thin wires tipped with barbed probes into a person’s skin. It then shoots 50,000 volts at 26 watts through the person’s body, causing temporary loss of muscle control(reference). The taser is categorized by the Department of Justice as a “less-than-lethal weapon,” that temporarily incapacitates or restrains a violent subject. The Department of Justice states that tasers should not be used in circumstances requiring deadly force, but when a lower level of force is necessary (reference). In the past five years, many law enforcement departments have replaced other commonly used “less-than-lethal weapons,” such as batons and tear gas, with tasers. Tasers have become a tool of choice for many Police Officers and the Military (reference).

III. The Possible Health Effects of the Taser Gun.

The taser has two possible effects on the human body: excited delirium and ventricular fibrillation....

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