Is the deliberate infliction of severe pain by officers on a passively resisting arrestee an unreasonable seizure under the fourth amendment? This Comment addresses this question by considering the facts of a typical "pain compliance" scenario. "Pain compliance" is a catch-all phrase used to categorize a variety of pain-inducing techniques available to officers to "persuade" an uncooperative arrestee to comply with their demands. The Comment analyzes the issue of standing for injunctive relief, as well as factors enumerated by the Supreme Court as necessary for an understanding of fourth amendment "unreasonableness" in a given arrest context. The Comment also examines various definitions of "excessive force." The author concludes that unnecessary force in an arrest is unreasonable force. Thus, when alternative means of apprehension could be used on a passively resisting arrestee, which are less injurious and intrusive than the infliction of pain, the use of "pain compliance" constitutes an unreasonable seizure.
Benjamin I. Whipple,
The Fourth Amendment and the Police Use of Pain Compliance Techniques on Nonviolent Arrestees,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol28/iss1/5