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Justice Department to review TASER deaths

Jun 14, 2006 | AP

Law enforcers have counted more than 180 deaths in the years since TASERs came into widespread use to stun suspects. Now the government says it's time to do an official safety review.

Stun guns have soared in popularity as a nonlethal alternative to bullet-firing guns. But some suspects do die after being shocked by the electronic control devices.

The Justice Department's research arm counts 184 such deaths, most of them since 2000. Amnesty International has called for a moratorium on stun gun use, saying its tally comes to about 160 deaths in the past five years.

Officials say the study won't look at whether the stun guns were used appropriately.

They'll only make medical assessments in the instances where the weapons were used.

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