Rights of the Accused

Topics: Police, Supreme Court of the United States, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 1 (313 words) Published: July 25, 2009
Rights of the accused: Miranda v. Arizona, Tennessee v. Garner
In 1985, the Supreme Court outlawed the indiscriminate use of deadly force with its decision in the case of Tennessee v. Garner. In this case, the court ruled that the use of deadly force against apparently unarmed and non dangerous fleeing felons is an illegal seizure of their person under the Fourth Amendment. “Deadly force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent escape and the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious injury to the officer or others”(Tennessee v. Garner, 1985). The majority opinion stated that, when the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend the subject does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, non dangerous suspect by shooting him dead. As a result of the decision in the Tennessee v. Garner case, policies that restrict the police use of violence have been implemented by some states. Others have continued to upgrade training in the use of force. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center(FLETC) has developed the FLETC use-of-force model to teach officers the proper method to utilize force in response to the threat they face. Through demonstrations, lectures, and training scenarios officers are taught to assess the behavior of the suspect and apply an appropriate amount of force(Graves, F. and G. Connor, p.59). Policy making by police administrative review boards as well as internal review are also ways in which to control police shootings. Graves, F. and G. Connor, “The FLETC Use-of-Force Model,” Police Chief 59(1992):56-58. Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1, 105 S. Ct.1694, 85 L.Ed.2d 889 (1985).
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