Court Cases: The CSI Effect

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It’s easy to distinguish a science fiction TV show from reality, but what about crime shows? Research shows that some people are so taken with what they see on screen that they let it affect their real life decisions. However, these decisions aren’t about what to have for breakfast, they’re about convicting someone for a crime they did or didn’t commit. This phenomenon is called the CSI Effect. It has effected cases in which suspects are wrongfully convicted or suspects are acquitted when there should be enough evidence to convict them. This clearly has damaging effects on court room decisions all due to the misleading consequences of unrealistic television. I believe it can be counteracted by adding segments of real life comparisons at the…show more content…
A prominent case is from Louisiana where a woman was sexually assaulted. Impressions of bite marks found on her were taken and were said to match Willie Jackson. When put in a line up, the victim identified him as her attacker. Jackson was convicted and sentenced 40 years in jail. 17 years into the sentence, he was exonerated because his DNA didn’t match what was found at the scene. However, the fact that Jackson lived 180 miles from the crime scene and that his brother confessed days after it happened should have been enough proof for the right man to be convicted (Begley; LeeMyers). Jurors relied too heavily on the supposed evidence without keeping in mind that if could be wrong. It’s a case where “people have been led to assume that the forensic evidence, on which arrests are based, is more reliable than it actually is” ("Preface to 'Does the 'CSI Effect' Influence Verdicts in Jury Trials?'."). However, is it reasonable to think that a man could assault a woman while living over 100 miles away? While it’s concerning that evidence presented could be wrong, all evidence must be…show more content…
For example, in 2011 Casey Anthony was on trial for the murder of her 2 year old daughter, Caylee. Although there was minimal evidence, prosecution “presented a seemingly iron-clad case for at least one guilty verdict of the three major offenses.” Anthony was acquitted of all charges. Afterward, one of the jurors “indicated there was not enough physical evidence to find her guilty” (Dysart). There are many types of non-physical evidence that a case can be built on such as testimonies, eye witnesses, diagram/model of the crime scene, charts/graphs of observations and analyses. How can we feel safe when criminals are being released back onto the streets to just repeat their crimes? Something needs to be done to prevent this from

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