Overview of the 'CSI Effect' on Criminal Law Proceedings

2011 Words8 Pages
Introduction Recent years have shown a tremendous increase in media portrayals of crime-related topics. There had been a rise in the number of crimes reported and analyzed by the media, news bulletins which abound in crime-related footages and displays, making regular citizens much more aware of these issues than they would have normally been just through direct exposure. On top of that, there has been a growing popularity for TV crime series which cover the topic from numerous perspectives, giving full description of the crime itself, the actors involved, the full investigation process from beginning to end, specific procedures and terminology used. All this information which has not usually been readily accessible to the regular citizen has generated an array of studies carried by both academics and legal practitioners as part of what has come to be known as the CSI effect. Opinions are generally divided between two groups: those who are extremely worried about the negative influence of the CSI effect and try to draw serious attention to its dangers, and those who believe that the CSI effect and the discussions surrounding it are exaggerated and there is in fact no evidence to support the negative claims to such a high and threatening extent. Before looking at several cases where the CSI effect has been blamed to have distorted jury verdicts, the paper will clarify what is understood by the so-called CSI effect, how it is displayed in practice, what exactly it suggests

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