Garner plus five years: An examination of Supreme Court intervention into police discretion and legislative prerogatives

Academic Article


  • This paper examines legislative changes, state attorney general activities, and early federal case law following the 1985 United States Supreme Court holding in Tennessee v. Gamer that laws authorizing police use of deadly force to apprehend fleeing, unarmed, non-violent felony suspects violated the Fourth Amendment. Only four of the 23 states apparently affected by this decision have brought their statutes into line with it. Only two of the attorneys general in the remaining 19 states have advised police of the decision. These findings indicate that control of police discretion in use of deadly force has been assumed by police administrators, and that criminal law definitions and the legal advice of attorneys general are largely irrelevant to effective control of police behavior © 1990 Springer.
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    Author List

  • Fyfe JJ; Walker JT
  • Start Page

  • 167
  • End Page

  • 188
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 2