The Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Effect
Students who are engaged in criminal justice online degree programs may be curious to find that recent portrayals of forensic science methods on TV and the silver screen may have influenced public perception of investigative procedures. The proposed causes of the CSI Effect are said to have altered the demands of jurors who now wish to see even more forensic evidence from prosecutors. Potential pursuants of a bachelors degree in criminal justice may bear this in mind going forward, as their curricula may include similar topics.
The CSI Effect, also known as the CSI Syndrome or the CSI Infection, has continued to gain press over the years in concern to the show’s glamorous characterizations of forensic scientists and investigators. Since the show’s incarnation in the year 2000, some experts believe the program has created a higher public perception of investigative procedures. This heightened knowledge of originally unknown information is said to have possibly increased the workload for police investigators,crime laboratory technicians and other criminal justice professionals.
Determining the existence and impacts of the CSI Effect
Does the CSI Effect really exists?: Although many feel that the CSI Effect is a real phenomenon that demands additional research, some professionals, including Donald Shelton, a former felony trial judge in Ann Arbor, Michigan, seem to think that the CSI effect is overblown. Shelton cites the typical American’s total faith in the federal justice system as evidence that jurors do not necessarily need more evidence in cases.
The National Institute of Justice: Implications into the CSI Effect’s existence are weighed by the National Institute of Justice in a 2008 article. This source uses the show’s popularity as evidence that the effect may be real. According to data produced by Nielson, five of the top ten television programs included some sort of scientific evidence in their dramatizations. These five programs were reported to have over 100 million viewers. `
Does the CSI Effect influence courtroom proceedings?: TV shows like CSI may produce an unrealistic portrayal of the actual technology available to forensic science investigators, which may lead to juries that expect high-level technology to be on display for every trial.
A judge’s opinion on the matter: Dennis M. Sweeney, a retired judge who formerly worked in the Howard County Circuit Court, believes that despite other opinions, the CSI Effect may cause an increased acceptance of forensic tests since their depiction on TV is almost flawless.
The negative impact the CSI Effect may have on juries: Others believe that this phenomenon is real and that it may cause adverse conditions in the courtroom. Jeffrey Heinrick, in an ariticle for Arizona State University, claims that the sheer amount of people who watch the show is evidence enough for the television drama’s impact on courts.
The CSI Effect’s real-life implications: A study conducted by officials in Maricopa County shows that CSI did, in fact, influence jurors decisions in this jurisdiction.
A real-life version of a case involving DNA evidence: Despite the arguments that occur on both sides of the issue, CSI does feature some real techniques used by police department, such as DNA evidence, that leads to criminal capture and conviction.
Expert opinions regarding the investigative tools used on TV: The similarities between the technological methods of DNA between TV and real life are very different. But, as this article shows, many of the collectible approaches shown on TV programs, such as saliva samples gained from envelopes, are valid.
After studying the CSI Effect, students who are seeking criminal justice degrees may be interested to see what real forensics careers are like. The following resources provide examples of what these professionals do, as well as what type of jobs exist in this sector.
Real-life forensic procedures: Curious followers of CSI who are pursuing a bachelor’s in criminology may find that the actual methods used on the show may be strikingly similar, but still necessitate a longer turn-around in time and may not be so simple in reality
A career in forensics: Despite the arguments at work, the forensic sciences are an interesting career choice that will involve analyzing tissue samples, fingerprints, bullets and other forms of evidence.
Forensic science career guide: Those interested in the forensic field should be aware of the different areas of opportunity that await. Many careers are available, but may require knowledge of different disciplines, such as psychology and science, as well as a criminal justice degree.