Does The Jury System Be Viewed As A Cornerstone Of American Democracy?

2213 Words Dec 8th, 2016 9 Pages
The jury system in America can be viewed as a cornerstone of American democracy. It is the only place within the Criminal Justice System where the average American can participate without any legal experience or expertise. As Americans, there is a reliance on jurors to make fair, unbiased and relatively quick decisions (Cole and Dioso-Villa 2007). Since the early 2000s, the media has propagated the myth that television shows like CSI, which use forensic science, have created a “CSI Effect.” If this CSI Effect were true, it would dismantle the jury system and create real questions concerning the reliability of the decision making process. In this paper, it will be argued that the CSI Effect is nothing more than a media myth and the evidence showing an increase in juror expectations towards scientific evidence can be explained by the tech effect.
The CSI Effect can be understood to mean the belief held by the media and many criminal justice practitioners, such as lawyers, cops and judges, that jurors may not convict in the absence of forensic science or that jurors may focus on forensics too much, disregarding other components of the case (Maeder and Corbett 2015). There has been an emphasis on the importance of the CSI Effect because CSI does not depict the Criminal Justice System in a realistic way. There is a fear that those who watch CSI and are a part of a jury may not be able to distinguish between the hour-long program and real life (Cole and Dioso-Villa 2007). CSI…

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