Analysis Of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

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In the early 2000s, CBS launched CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a newer, sleeker crime drama aiming to depict crimes and crime scene investigations as gritty, suspenseful, and glamorous. CSI featured streamlined detective work, flashy forensics, and emotionally-charged interrogations and interviews, all carried out by aloof professionals aiming to crack their respective cases. Most significantly, however, was the fact that CSI – and shows like CSI – feature heavily simplified court scenes. These scenes present incomplete portrayals of the legal system to viewers, where they see emotionally-charged testimonies that instantaneously incriminate perpetrators and win cases. Initially, with only CSI on the air, there was perhaps little concern …show more content…
To accomplish this, they analyzed several other studies involving mock juries that tested both the “strong prosecutor’s effect” and “defendant’s effect,” and additionally gathered court data from multiple states to see if acquittal data has significantly changed over the years since CSI’s pilot. The findings ultimately showed that acquittal rates have not changed drastically over the years in multiple states, but that most jurors that view crime dramas regularly do hold higher expectations for forensic evidence. Surprisingly, however, results showed that jurors who viewed crime dramas regularly also had more faith in any eyewitness testimony offered (Cole and Dioso-Villa, …show more content…
No evidence exists to show that viewing crime dramas causes jurors to value forensic evidence over eyewitness testimony; if anything, eyewitness testimony instead bolsters weak forensic evidence, supported by the fact weak or circumstantial forensic evidence did not affect juror behavior when coupled with eyewitness testimony. If anything, the public must simply be informed about the actual functions and capabilities of forensic investigators. Shows like CSI commonly overrepresent the capabilities of forensic investigators, and these selfsame shows are the most popular representation of forensic practices the public has access to (Cole and Dioso-Villa, 2009). If the prosecution worries about the potential negatives of the “CSI effect,” they can bring in an expert in forensics to testify about the discipline’s true capabilities. Aiming to better educate the public about forensic science might also rectify this

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