Lethal Force at Home and Abroad
28 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2017 Last revised: 18 Apr 2018
Date Written: March 13, 2018
This Article compares the legal treatment of lethal force exercised by the President with the legal treatment of lethal force exercised by police officers. In doing so, it examines the distinction between the crime paradigm and the war paradigm, complicates assumptions about when our rights as citizens are the strongest, and offers lessons about how to create meaningful constraints for lethal force. The Article concludes descriptively that when contemplating lethal force, the President is subject to more constraints than are police officers. Two insights follow from this claim. First, lethal force is an exception to the assumed rule of broader rights and limited government in the crime paradigm. Second, the relative utility of ex ante regulation for the President provides yet another reason to improve ex ante regulation for the police.
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