According to statistics compiled by Robert Anglen of the Arizona Republic newspaper, at least 126 North Americans have died since September 1999 after being shocked by Tasers. Ten of those deaths have occurred in Canada, where, as far as we can tell, there has been no independent scientific analysis of the safety of the weapons, which use 50,000 volts of electricity to incapacitate the central nervous system.

Unless action is taken to curb Taser use, deaths will continue to occur at an alarming rate; there have been 31 so far this year, including four in the first two weeks of June. The most recent was Michael Anthony Edwards, 32 of Palatka, Florida, who died June 13, 2005.

The Canadian deaths:

April 19, 2003: Terrance Hanna, 51, Burnaby, B.C.

July 22, 2003: Clay Willey, 33, Prince George, B.C.

Sept. 28, 2003: Clark Whitehouse, 34, Whitehorse, Yukon

March 23, 2004: Perry Ronald, 28, Edmonton, Alta.

May 1, 2004: Roman Andreichik, Vancouver, B.C.

May 13, 2004: Peter Lamonday, 38, London, Ont.

June 23, 2004: Robert Bagnell, 44, Vancouver, B.C.

July 17, 2004: Jerry Knight, 29, Mississauga, Ont.

Aug. 8, 2004: Samuel Truscott, 43, Kingston, Ont.

May 5, 2005: Kevin Geldart, 34, Moncton, N.B.