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NCJ Number: 66182 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: EXECUTION WITHOUT TRIAL - POLICE HOMICIDE AND THE CONSTITUTION
Journal: VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:71-100
Author(s): L W SHERMAN
Corporate Author: Vanderbilt University
School of Law
Vanderbilt Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37240
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A REVIEW OF THE LEGAL HISTORY OF POLICE HOMICIDE SUGGESTS THAT ONLY THE DEFENSE-OF-LIFE DOCTRINE IS APPROPRIATE TO GOVERN POLICE USE OF DEADLY FORCE.
Abstract: PRESENT LAWS IN EVERY STATE DENY POLICE HOMICIDE VICTIMS FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS, ALLOW THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH TO BE IMPOSED IN CRUEL AND UNUSUAL FASHION, AND APPEAR TO DENY EQUAL PROTECTION TO BLACKS. THE ONLY CONSTITUTIONAL ALTERNATIVE APPARENT IS TO REMOVE POLICE HOMICIDE FROM THE REALM OF PUNISHMENT AND CONFINE JUSTIFICATION FOR IT TO THE SELF-DEFENSE DOCTRINE. THE ANTIFELONY RULE, A COMMON LAW JUSTIFICATION FOR HOMICIDE TO EFFECT A FELONY ARREST, IS DISMISSED AS AN ANACHRONISM. THE DEFENSE-OF-LIFE POLICY HAS THE VIRTUE OF BEING BOTH CONSTITUTIONAL AND PRACTICAL. IT IS CONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE PUNISHMENT AND DOES NOT VIOLATE DUE PROCESS. IT WOULD ALSO BE MORE PRACTICAL TO IMPLEMENT THAN ANY OF THE OTHER ATTEMPTS TO CREATE A POLICY MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THE COMMON LAW DOCTRINE. IT AVOIDS PROBLEMS ARISING FROM THE MODEL PENAL CODE'S APPROACH ALLOWING POLICE OFFICERS TO SHOOT FLEEING FELONS ONLY WHEN THEY HAVE USED OR THREATENED TO USE DEADLY FORCE AND ALLOWING OFFICERS TO SHOOT FLEEING SUSPECTS OF SPECIFIED FORCIBLE FELONIES. THE DEFENSE-OF-LIFE RULE IS NECESSARY FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT ANYTHING ELSE CONSTITUTES EXECUTION WITHOUT TRIAL, IN VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Assault with a deadly weapon; Civil liability; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Crimes against persons; Felony; Homicide; Judicial decisions; Lawful use of force; Laws and Statutes; Police use of deadly force; Rape
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66182

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