Forensic Science: CSI Analysis

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In recent years, television shows such as CSI and NCIS have placed science in the spotlight, frequently depicting forensic science as some type of futuristic magic, unravelling crimes within an hour and without error. Of course, these shows are only fiction. One forensic scientist estimated that “40% of the science on CSI does not exist, and most of the rest is performed in ways that crime lab personnel can only dream about” (Winter & York, 2011). With more than 90 million people watching crime-related shows every week, it is not surprising that the effect of their popularity has become evident in the real world, specifically in real-life criminal trials. Science is bow thought of as a method of catching and convicting criminals, and forensic investigators are basically the heroes who are capable of …show more content…
Felony trial judge Donald Shelton, who conducted the first practical test of the CSI effect, “examined juror CSI viewership, expectations of evidence, and likelihood of finding a person guilty or innocent based on evidence presented in a case” (Wojdacz, 2009). Participants in the study were presented with several crime scenarios and were asked to indicate what types of evidence they would expect to be presented with during the trial. “Results of this research showed nearly half of the sample expected DNA, fingerprint, and ballistics evidence in every criminal case” (Shelton, 2008). Expectations for DNA evidence were higher in murder and rape cases. When examining the impact of CSI viewership on viewer expectations, Shelton found that frequent CSI viewers had higher expectations for the capabilities of forensic science relative to evidence collection and analysis than non-CSI viewers (2008). Prosecutors fear that when experts don't show off CSI-style technology, jurors may wrongfully clear guilty defendants and basically let criminals get away with

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