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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 104889 Find in a Library
Title: Tennessee v. Garner - The Fleeing Felon Rule
Journal: Saint Louis University Law Journal  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1986)  Pages:1259-1277
Author(s): J Simon
Date Published: 1986
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In Tennessee v. Garner, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Tennessee statute that permitted police to use deadly force against a suspected felon fleeing arrest.
Abstract: In its decision, the Court held that apprehension by the use of deadly force is a seizure subject to the reasonableness requirement of the fourth amendment, and that its use to prevent the escape of all felony suspects was constitutionally impermissible. The proper rule, as the court suggests, would allow the use of deadly force only when a suspect poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm. However, a major problem with the decision is that it requires a police office to be practically certain that a suspect is dangerous without providing any guidance to the arresting officer for making this determination. A better approach would be to emphasize the risk encountered by the officer in a specific situation, but also to allow the officer to be guided by the nature of the crime involved. This approach would limit the use of deadly force to inherently dangerous situations, while also providing the protection needed to the arresting officer and the general public. 121 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Police use of deadly force
Index Term(s): Felony; Search and seizure laws; US Supreme Court decisions
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