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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134599 Find in a Library
Title: Constitutional Constraints on the Use of Force
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:61  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1992)  Pages:22-31
Author(s): J C Hall
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Federal Constitutional provisions governing the use of force are identified, standards applicable to each are described, and cases that describe or illustrate the application of the different standards are examined.
Abstract: In screening excessive force claims, many courts have imposed the requirement that plaintiffs allege and prove that some significant injury resulted from the constitutional violation. When a seizure occurs, the fourth amendment provides the appropriate standard for measuring its lawfulness. A seizure occurs when there is an actual termination of freedom of movement, but such termination must be the result of intentional government action with respect to both the result and the means by which it is accomplished. Once the determination is made that a seizure occurred, the appropriateness of the force used to accomplish a seizure must be assessed in the context of the reasonableness standard. Spectrum of force options include display of authority, application of various levels of nondeadly force, and the use of deadly force itself. In assessing reasonableness for use of force by a police officer in the context of the fourth amendment, relevant factors include to defend themselves, to overcome resistance, to enforce compliance, and to prevent escape. The Court continues to consider due process the appropriate standard in cases in which excessive force allegations arise during pre-trial detentions. Regarding the use of force during post-conviction confinement, the eighth amendment prohibits only punishment which is cruel and unusual. 49 footnotes
Main Term(s): Lawful use of force
Index Term(s): Court standards; Search and seizure
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