When is it legal to use deadly force? Should there be times when one person can lawfully kill another person? In South Africa, killing is justified when defending someone. (Bruce, 2002) In Michigan, deadly force can only be used when all other possibilities have been exhausted (Internet, 2003). In 1974, Tennessee statutes allowed police to use all necessary means to effect an arrest where a suspect fled or forcibly resisted after being notified of the intent to arrest. (Lexis, 1985) So what is deadly force and when can it be used? Are there laws against the use of deadly force in some situations?.
Use of Deadly Force.
Deadly force is the highest degree of force considered reasonable only when used to counter an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm (Schmalleger, 2002). Deadly force cannot be used against non-deadly force (Schmalleger, 2002). This means, if there is a lessor degree of injury anticipated, or if a lessor degree of force affords an effective defense, it must be used (Schmalleger, 2002). Once danger has been averted, the use of force must cease (Schmalleger, 2002). If a person overcomes an attacker, leaving him incapable of further attack, this person is unjustified in tying the attacker up and beating on him or her. This changes the role of the attacker and the victim.
Tennessee v. Garner.
This landmark case changed the statute in Tennessee that states, " if after notice of the intention to arrest the defendant, he either flee or forcibly resist, the officer may use all the necessary means to effect the arrest."" Tenn. Code Ann.  40-7-108 (1982). (Lexis, 1985). On October 3, 1974, two Memphis officers named Elton Hymon and Leslie Wright, responded to a call of a "prowler inside-. When the two arrived on scene, they saw a woman standing on the porch, who gestured toward the next door house. She told the police officers that she heard glass breaking and that "they- or "someone- was breaking into the house next door (Lexis, 1985).