July 21, 2004
Dr. Cyril Wecht Releases Preliminary Report: No Basis to Conclude TASER® Contributed to Death of Mr. James Borden
Forensic Expert Reviews Controversial Case
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - TASER® International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR), a market leader in advanced non-lethal weapons received a copy of a preliminary, independent autopsy report reviewing the case of Mr. James Borden performed by Dr. Cyril Wecht, MD, JD.
The report concludes: "With regard to the possible effects of the TASERs on Mr. Borden, it is important and highly relevant to note that the autopsy clearly showed he was struck in the lower abdomen and buttocks ... It is difficult for me to perceive how the electrical effects of the TASERs would have been able to permeate these heavy layers of fatty tissue and produce an adverse effect upon Mr. Borden's cardiovascular system.
"Therefore, it is my opinion based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty that Mr. Borden's death was directly and causally attributable to his underlying cardiovascular pathology, namely, cardiac dysrhythmia secondary to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and pharmacological intoxication.
"There is no sound pathophysiological basis upon which to conclude that Mr. Borden's death was caused or contributed to by the effects of the TASERs," concluded Dr. Wecht's report.
Dr. Wecht is a one of the world's leading experts in forensic pathology and author of Cause of Death, Grave Secrets, Who Killed JonBenet Ramsey, and Mortal Evidence. In 1965, Dr. Wecht undertook an analysis of the Warren Report for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Then in 1972, he was the first non-government forensic pathologist permitted to observe and study the Kennedy autopsy materials that were preserved in the National Archives. In his current official capacity, he administers a governmental department responsible for investigating all sudden, suspicious, violent and unexplained deaths within its jurisdiction. As a medical-legal expert, Dr. Wecht has performed approximately 14,000 autopsies and has supervised, reviewed or been consulted on approximately 30,000 additional post-mortem examinations.
Dr. Wecht is a clinical professor at the University of Pittsburgh schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine and Public Health, and is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University's schools of Law, Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He has served as president of the American College of Legal Medicine and the American Academy of Forensic Science, as well as chairman of the boards of trustees of both the American Board of Legal Medicine and the American College of Legal Medicine Foundation.
Dr. Wecht received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his law degree from the University of Maryland. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical and forensic pathology, and is a fellow of both the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. For more information, please visit www.cyrilwecht.com.
Commenting on the report, Rick Smith, CEO of TASER International, Inc., said, "The Borden case, which was the only case where an autopsy specifically listed the electric shock from our TASER device as a contributing factor in a death, had been promulgated by some as the strongest evidence against the safety of TASER devices. This example clearly illustrates why we have continually asked that the media not jump to conclusions prematurely or speculate on TASER safety, but rather wait until comprehensive reviews are completed. Dr. Wecht's opinion further strengthens our belief that, while no use of force is risk-free, TASER technology provides one of the safest options available to law enforcement professionals," concluded Mr. Smith.
The full report has been posted at www.taser.com/pdfs/jamesborden.pdf. The independent medical report was requested and paid for by David Shaw's defense attorney. David Shaw is the Monroe County Sheriff's jailer that has been charged with assault in subduing James Borden prior to his death. TASER International has now contracted with Dr. Wecht to review other pending cases.
About TASER International, Inc.
TASER International, Inc. provides advanced non-lethal weapons for use in the law enforcement, private security, and personal defense markets. Its flagship ADVANCED TASER® M26 product uses proprietary technology to incapacitate dangerous, combative, or high-risk subjects that may be impervious to other non-lethal means. Its latest product, the TASER X26 is 60% smaller and lighter than the ADVANCED TASER M26 and reduces injury rates to suspects and officers, thereby lowering liability risk and improving officer safety. TASER® technology is currently in testing or deployment at over 5,400 law enforcement and correctional agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
Call 480-991-0797 or visit our website at www.taser.com to learn more about the new standard in non-lethal weapons.