Judge Rules It's Legal To Taser Someone For DNA Sample, As Long As It's Not Done "Maliciously"

Illustration for article titled Judge Rules It's Legal To Taser Someone For DNA Sample, As Long As It's Not Done "Maliciously"

As long as it is not done "maliciously, or to an excessive extent, or with resulting injury," Niagara County, NY Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza ruled that using a Taser to obtain a DNA sample is legally valid.

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In the case of one Ryan S. Smith, accused of shooting and a gas station robbery:

Smith was handcuffed and sitting on the floor of Niagara Falls Police Headquarters when he was zapped with the 50,000- volt electronic stun gun after he insisted he would not give a DNA sample.

He already had given a sample, a swab of the inside of his cheek, without protest the previous month. But police sent it to the wrong lab, where it was opened and spoiled. Prosecutors who had obtained a court order for the first sample went back to Sperrazza, who signed another order without consulting the defense.

To be fair, Sperrazza cited several precedents of her own to justify the ruling—including one case in Wyoming where it was deemed legal for the police to Taser a suspect to force him to open his hand for a search. The state's own Criminal Procedure Law also states that the use of reasonable force is legal to carry out a court order. Is refusing to give up a DNA sample on the same level as being violent? That is to say, should it be a Taserable offense? [Buffalo News via HardOCP Image via Flickr]

DISCUSSION

Dang guys, get a life (referring to the above commenters). Of course it should be legal.

Do you guys ever try to put yourself in the position of the people you criticize?

Imagine: you're a cop, and you're standing there over some young punk who for some freaking reason won't give you a swab from his cheek again. You threaten him verbally. Nothing happens. Now you're just standing there, and all you want to do is get on with your life, get back to what you really became a cop for. How do you suggest this cop should get the swab? Should he get down there and force the guys's jaws open? Extremely hard to do, AND he'll probably bite the swab off if he's not cooperative. In case none of you knew, when you taser someone it actually renders them feeling pretty helpless and weak.

Its the same way with the freakin waterboarding thing. Everybody compares it to the wrong things, and out of context. Example: IN comparison to doing nothing to harm a human being, something like waterboarding is horrible. Even though there are more horrible things out there in the world, and waterboarding is one of the lesser forms of torture out in the world (for those of you unacquainted with the world, just take my word for it! there are worse things!!). Anyway, now everyone's getting into trouble for waterboarding. Imagine again though, if you were in a camp, and you were ordered to extract information from a terrorist guy that might help save other's lives, and you are restricted to just.....what??? yelling at him? You think anyone will tell you anything? If you do...you have problems. An educated person will realize that war is war, and one persons life is worth much less than those he is trying to murder. Why the hell do you think the vietnamese, japanese, germans, etc. had such horrific forms of torture? Sure they went too far, but they understood the value of information. I think we should keep waterboarding because to me it seems like one of the least violent (compared to torture) forms that may still yield results.

All this to say.....look at it through the guy doing the job's eyes.