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15 Criminology & Pub. Pol'y 75 (2016)
TASER Exposure, Miranda Warnings, and Police Interrogations

handle is hein.journals/crpp15 and id is 77 raw text is: 


     TASER         EXPOSURE             AND       COGNITIVE

TASER® Exposure, Miranda Warnings, and

Police Interrogations

New Evidence and Implications

Michael R. Smith
The University of Texas at El Paso

        ASERs   (conducted energy weapons sold by TASER International, Scottsdale,
        Arizona) have become ubiquitous in American policing. In 2013, 75% of state
        and local law enforcement agencies in the United States authorized TASERs for
all sworn field/patrol officers and another 10% authorized them for at least some sworn
officers (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013). Conservatively speaking, this suggests that
approximately 500,000 law enforcement officers carry a TASER on a regular basis when
they are working. Studies have consistently documented that most physical force used
by police consists of low-level, hands-on control tactics, but increasingly, the TASER has
supplanted other options (e.g., baton or pepper spray) as the preferred less-lethal weapon
for police (Smith et al., 2010).
    With the proliferation of the TASER has come a host of issues and concerns similar to
what occurred when the adoption of pepper spray became widespread (Smith and Alpert,
2000). Human rights and public interest groups, as well as the media, have raised concerns
about the safety of the TASER and whether it has caused the deaths of citizens at the hands
of the police (Amnesty International, 2012). The medical and field-based research to date
has largely debunked the notion that the TASER poses a significant risk of death when
used appropriately, and a National Institute of Justice Special Report on deaths after the
use of conducted energy devices (CEDs) concluded that law enforcement need not refrain
from using CEDs to place uncooperative or combative subjects in custody, provided the
devices are used in accordance with accepted national guidelines and appropriate use-of-
force policy (Laub, 2011, p. viii).

Direct correspondence to Michael R. Smith, Center for Law and Human Behavior, The University of Texas at El
Paso, Prospect Hall 224, 500 W. University Avenue, El Paso, TX 79968 (e-mail: Msmith4@utep.edu).

DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12184           © 2015 American Society of Criminology  75
                                 Criminology &Public Policy ° Volume 15 * Issue I

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