NY Judge Rules Use Of Taser To Retrieve DNA Is Legal

Posted Jun 8, 2009

New York Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza of Niagara Country has ruled that it is legal to obtain DNA using a taser gun assuming that it is not used “maliciously, or to an excessive extent, or with resulting injury.”

In the case of Ryan S. Smith, the DNA sample that was obtained from him using a taser gun was used as valid evidence, tied to a shooting and robbery at a gas station.  The taser gun used was 50,000 volts.  Smith gave sample DNA the month before, but the police had it sent to the wrong lab where it was spoiled.

?They have now given the Niagara Falls police discretion to Taser anybody anytime they think it?s reasonable,? stated Defense lawyer Patrick M. Balkin. ?Her decision says you can enforce a court order by force. If you extrapolate that, we no longer have to have child support hearings; you can just Taser the parent.?

Smith is charged for shooting a man in the groin in July 2006 after invading his ex-girlfriend’s home.  He tied up the two children at the home and forced the woman to take him to the home of the man that was shot.  Six months after that Smith was also accused of armed robbery at a Sunoco gas station in Niagara Falls.

The court case evidence revolves mostly around DNA.

[via Gizmodo/Buffalo News]