The American Heart Association journal, “Circulation” published the first ever scientific, peer-reviewed evidence that Tasers can cause cardiac arrest and death, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Written by electrophysiologist Douglas Zipes of Indiana University, the article looked at eight cases involving the TASER X26 ECD. The controversial electroshock devices administer 50,000 volts designed to immobilize a person's muscles temporarily so officers can gain control of the subject. They have a range of 35 feet.
About 16,000 agencies internationally use the device, which was marketed as non-lethal. Officials have credited them with helping to reduce fatal police incidents. Cincinnati police began using Tasers after the Nov. 30, 2003, death of Nathaniel Jones in police custody. The 41-year-old man’s violent struggle with officers ended when his heart stopped. Jones had cocaine, PCP, and methanol in his system. Critics argue that Tasers too often have a deadly outcome. Since 2001, more than 500 people have died after Taser stuns, charges Amnesty International, which contends that stricter guidelines for its use are “imperative.”