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CSI Effect on Jurors – Criminology Essay

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Updated: Apr 27th, 2020

The results indicate that, independent of criminal justice experiences, sociademographics, and other background characteristics, crimes show viewing habits affect potential jurors’ pretrial attitudes and predispositions regarding scientific evidence and various forms of testimony” (Baskin and Somers 99).

This quote indicates there are many factors which affect the attitudes of the pretrial jury in the justice system. The most influential factor in this era is the rate at which crime related television programs are watched.

From the quote, it is clear that the author(s) of this article are in agreement with the allegations that programs such as CSI have a negative effect on the process of administering justice. More evidence in support of this indicates that such programs have led to the exposure of the procedures used in detecting and investigating crimes.

The impact of the presumed CSI effect has reverberated throughout various sectors of society, with attorneys reporting changes in trial strategies so as to counteract it” (Baskin and Somers 100).

This quote indicates the attorneys came to the realization that their system of carrying out investigations and presenting the evidence is no longer effective owing to the public interception in these processes. This is why they suggest of changes in the strategies used in trials. This will ensure the public are blocked from the new strategies hence being unable to interrupt the justice system.

This is a clear indication of the effect of the penetration of crime shows in the judicial process. The effect is definitely negative due to the fact that the advocates seek to implement some major changes. To maintain the new system however, regulations should be instituted to ensure the system is guarded against media interception.

In other words, jurors do not anticipate the same types or levels of evidence so often portrayed in crime and justice television shows; they can distinguish between the “fictionalized” accounts presented by the media with the “reality” of the courtroom” (Baskin and Somers 102).

This quote makes illustrates that jurors have accepted the fact that the media has eroded the criminal justice system through the crime shows. At the same time, they state that they have the capacity to distinguish between what is fiction and what is real. This is something most of the other people are not able to tell.

This often leads them to believe that what they see on their screens is the real procedure for carrying out criminal investigations. However, despite these differences, these shows still give the public a clue of the investigation procedures. However, any person with a special intention might use it as a lead.

Those who watched more crime shows were actually more skeptical of the hair evidence and had more confidence in their verdicts, but were no more likely to convict the defendant than non viewers” (Baskin and Somers 105).

This quote explains the research findings among law students. It reveals that those who watch these crime shows are more confident than their counterparts. This is an indication that they believe what they see on the television and it indeed affects their judgment of the evidence collected.

Supposing these students go to the field and realize the procedures from the shows are the same ones being used, then it will be hard to convince them there are some fictitious procedures on the show. This explains why the jury selection system need to be changed so that it is completely different from what is displayed in the crime shows.

Yet recent research suggests that experiences and attitudes strongly influence all aspects of decision making, including how closely a juror will follow instructions through the actual choice of a verdict” (Baskin and Somers 106).

This quote explains the effects of people’s attitudes and their experience in all aspects of decision making. In other words, it means the things people come across in their day to day lives affect their judgment. The media is one of the most influential tools in the lives of many people. In anything, a big percentage of people live their lives in relation to the most recent trends as portrayed by the media.

This rule also applies to the criminal justice system in relation to the crime shows being aired on the televisions. The jurors’ judgments and attitudes have been eroded and diluted by these shows. This suggests that most of them are no longer able to make sound decisions. Media influence has largely affected their decision making capacity of most people. The situation can only be reversed by making alterations in the system to differ completely from what is displayed by the media.

Although this study does not set out to examine whether crime show viewing habits are related to jury decision making, it shares with other research on the CSI effect an inability to parse out, with any precision, the wide range of factors that may impact attitudes that criminal justice actors bring to the courtroom and how they may influence verdicts” (Baskin and Somers 107).

This statement suggests that it has been difficult to analyze the exact CSI effect in the courtroom. There are many factors that may have an impact on the criminal justice system besides the CSI effect. Despite the fact that the investigations could be fictitious, the crimes being investigated are real crimes committed on a daily basis. These crimes include; murder, manslaughter and high degree robberies. There is therefore no enough evidence to discredit the CSI effect in the courtroom.

Based on available research related to the CSI effect and to Jury decision making, it is clear that future research must take into consideration an even wider array of dynamics and processes, across broader swaths of sociocultural and psychological terrains, if they are to understand the public’s attitudes toward and expectations regarding the use of scientific evidence in criminal trials” (Baskin and Somers 109).

There is a wide range of reasons behind people’s reactions and this means that any type of research on these factors should be carried out with regards to other sources of human behavior influences. These include socio-cultural effects and psychological considerations, since these are some of the most influential factors to people’s attitudes. Scientific evidence, as used in most of the CSI shows are said to have a positive impact on research since it enhances the viability of the evidence collected.

The implication of this statement of the research question is the processes used in the CSI shows are mostly real though presented with a fictitious situation. Therefore, the CSI effect is something that should not be neglected; instead the criminal justice system should be transformed such that the effects are minimized if not eliminated.

Objection, your honor! Television is not the relevant authority.’ Crime drama portrayals of eyewitness issuesMany scholars have discussed options for improving juror knowledge or protecting against the adverse effects of mistaken juror’s beliefs, with some suggesting that in certain cases expert testimony could improve juror decision making” (Desmaraias et al 226).

This statement illustrates that the beliefs of the juror has been altered by the type of testimony from most eye witnesses. The presentation of the witnesses in most cases is guided by the previous knowledge of witnessing obtained from the CSI programs. This means, most people coming to court as witnesses already have a predetermined way presenting their evidence and this in a way alters the validity of the evidence.

As a result of this, there is a need to improve on the knowledge of the juror so that they are able to tell when a witness is being genuine and when they are providing the information based on what they saw in the television program. These are some of the changes that should be implemented in the criminal justice system to counter the CSI effect.

Some researchers suggest that knowledge about eye witness issues has been influenced by recent media’s fascination with ‘hot’ forensic psychological topics including the recovered and false memory debate, childhood abuse, and wrongful convictions” (Desmaraias et al 228).

This statement illustrates the role of the media in alternating the criminal justice system. Most witnesses in real crimes have been brainwashed by what they see in the crime shows. They are therefore unable to present their evidence in a non biased way. The topics crimes covered in these programs are real and this explains why most people believe that the shows are real.

What they do not realize is that they are using real life experiences to make the programs more appealing, while most of the procedures they use to solve these crimes are fictitious and nonexistent. This therefore explains why the jury selection needs to be changed so that it is completely detached from the systems used in the programs.

In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the effects of media exposure on public perceptions and beliefs more generally” (Desmaraias et al 229).

This is a general comment indicating the extent over which the media affects the perception of the public. Information relayed through media especially electronic media has played a major role in the development of the modern culture. It is therefore not logical to assume that shows such as CSI could not have any effect thereof.

These crime investigation shows are the most famous in this era and their effect has been strongly felt in the judicial system. From this, we can make a conclusion that the judicial system should undergo major changes to ensure that the loopholes created by these programs are sealed completely.

The results of these studies point to the media’s ability to educate and influence public perceptions” (Desmaraias et al 229).

The studies that have been conducted to determine the extent of the CSI effect in the criminal justice system brings out the influential nature of the media. The findings indicate that media are the most educative tool. At the same time, this same media have the other side which is destructive to some extent.

Considering these factors, it is possible to tell the challenges faced by the criminal justice system as a result of the CSI effect. This has influenced the public to believe what they see on their screens and attempt to put it into practice. Some of the jurors have even gone to the extent of making their judgments after consulting the cases in these programs.

The CSI effect describes the potential impact television has on today’s real jurors such that they may now have expectations about the type and quality of evidence that should be presented during the course of a trial” (Desmaraias et al 231).

This explains further how the criminal justice system has been hampered by the CSI effect. These programs have created a standard for the jurors in the eyes of the public. The quality of evidence they provide is judged in relation to what is seen in the media. They are therefore forced to go out of their way and measure up to the standard. The only remedy to this is to upgrade the court system and ensure that the investigation procedures remain a top secret in the concerned organization.

Evidence that does not meet the high standards may be judged to be insufficient, resulting in increasing acquittal rates” (Desmaraias et al 233).

This is another quote from the article that describes how the jurors’ decisions have been influenced by the CSI effect. Standards are set based on these programs despite the fact that the biggest percentage of the events is fictitious. The criminal justice system is therefore compelled to lift their standards while at the same time compromising the truth they are sure of.

The public is the main determinant of their success and they would never want to lose their credibility. Diversions from what most people know to be the truth renders them incompetent and insufficient in the eyes of the public. This explains why they need to change the system and make it known to the public that they have upgraded it beyond what the media depicts.

With respect to pretrial publicity, research demonstrates that news coverage can contribute to bias in jury decision making, generally increasing the likelihood of guilty decisions” (Desmaraias et al 235).

Many decisions in the justice system have been made based on information obtained from the media. As a result of this, the decisions made are most of the times guilty ones. This means that most of the suspects are convicted of being guilty despite there not being sufficient evidence to incriminate them.

The media is to be blamed for this since they portray a certain section of the community as being guilty of crimes. The truth however eventually comes out and this means that members of the public are gradually losing faith in the criminal justice system. To save this situation, there is need to make major reforms in this system.

Importantly, following confessions by true perpetrators, DNA exonerations, and other independent sources of evidence, we now know that wrongful convictions do occur and at alarming rates” (Desmaraias et al 236).

From the television shows such as CSI and the likes, there are some investigation procedures that are displayed as perfect. This however has proved not true in real life as these methods have not shown that much credibility.

This includes the commonly used DNA exoneration method which was nullified by the confession of the true criminals. This means that the people who had been convicted were not the criminals as shown by the investigations. The changes to be implemented in the justice system should therefore include scrapping of such procedures.

In terms of individual eyewitness issues presented at least once per episode, the memory for specific details of normal events and memory for specific details of traumatic events issues were presented in the greatest number of episodes overall” (Desmaraias et al 238).

From this section, it is evident that the memories of the events from the programs stick in the minds of the viewers. Such people who already have a premonition of crimes cannot make effective witnesses. This is irrespective of whether they were eyewitnesses to the crime or not. Their judgment will always be affected by what is already in their minds regarding crimes.

This makes them ineffective in their witnessing and in case the jurors are not aware of this factor, then they end up being misled by the evidence provided by the witness. This can be eliminated by setting up a system that can detect whether a person is basing their evidence of the current event or some past event.

Recognizing the role of media, and television in particular, as public educator, the goal of the present work was to increase our understanding of the sources of juror knowledge about eye witness issues” (Desmaraias et al 239).

This is a conclusive quote which shows the role of the media as a source of education. This education can however be negative as is the case of the eye witness dilution. It brings to the readers’ attention that the juror is aware of these issues related to the witnesses. This suggests that they know the challenges they are face. This is an assurance that they will do something about it if they want to regain the confidence of the public.

Forensic science international: crime scene investigation (as seen on TV)

With this new style of infotainment comes an increasingly blurred line between the hard facts of reality and soft, quick solutions of entertainment” (Durnal 2).

The word infotainment has been used to describe the main idea behind CSI TV shows. The idea is; they entertain as well as provide information. The entertainment part can be credited but there are some doubts when it comes to the information. This information is mostly exaggerated such that people are not able to distinguish between what is real and not.

In most cases, the information is diluted by fiction, obvious to the viewers who tend to believe the media more than anything else. This explains why the CSI effect cannot be stopped from penetrating the justice system, unless the system is changed such that it cannot accommodate the CSI effect.

Crime remains an unfortunate, yet integrated part of the American culture, not as hopelessly interwoven as the media would have us believe, but regardless, a part of life (or at least the evening news)” (Durnal 2).

This quote brings out the fact that the media have played a major role in making people believe that crimes are a part of their life. An example is that of the CSI like programs where different crimes are being solved every day. Viewers tend to believe that these crimes are happening somewhere in reality.

They might therefore tend to discredit the judicial system indicating that they are not active in detecting and solving crimes. To eliminate this problem from the system, they should come up with ways of educating the public on the real judicial systems as opposed to the fictitious ones created in the media.

The media today has influenced and interacted with crime, criminals and the criminal justice system in a manner that is so complex that entire careers are spent trying to separate and identify which breeds which” (Durnal 3).

The way in which the media presents crimes to the people in form entertainment has had a negative effect in the justice system. It is almost difficult to tell the difference between real crimes and acted ones. This has led to an establishment of a special body whose function is to try and separate reality from the shows and this has proved very difficult owing to the high level of media influence.

People have had to take studies in forensic science so as to assist the justice system in identifying what is real crime and what is not. The justice system will then be expected to make relevant changes in this regard so as to protect the public from crimes perpetrated under the cover of entertainment.

The media would also have us believe that with technology currently available, most crimes can be easily solved” (Durnal 3).

One of the greatest effects under the CSI effect is the fact that most people have come to believe that major crimes can be solved in a short time. As a result, the justice system is considered incompetent if they take a long time to solve the cases. The public fails to understand that the technology displayed in the TV shows is not real.

This is in fact misleading since the result of it is people not having faith in the judicial system. To avert this effect, the best action is to make technological changes that will bring the system closer to the expectation of the public while at the same time making them understand that the fictitious part of the show cannot be brought to reality.

Numerous instances of the CSI effect regarding jury members have been identified in courtrooms across the nation” (Durnal 3).

Since the increase in the rate at which the crime investigation programs are being watched, there have been a lot of changes observed in the court rooms. These include the judgments made by the jury members most of whom are great fans of these programs. This effect has been realized across the country, calling an attention to the issue. To prevent further corruption of the judicial system, some changes need to be put in place so as to create a divide between the real judicial processes and the acted ones in the TV programs.

Prosecutor’s tactics, approaches and entire cases have been altered by this kind of phenomena” (Durnal 3).

The CSI effect has greatly affected the prosecution procedures in the courts. The tactics ones used by the prosecutors in real cases are now being used in TV dramas. The prosecutors no longer have a unique approach to the cases as this has been eroded. They are therefore required to go back to the drawing table and come up with new approaches to their procedures. This will restore the confidence of the public after realizing that the reality is what happens in the courtrooms while the TV programs are meant just to entertain.

Prosecutors are faced with questioning witnesses and convincing newly informed jurors of the appropriate applications of the techniques and methods of identification they have come to see so often as their favorite shows” (Durnal 4).

The other major challenge faced by the prosecutors is that of trying to convince the jury to distinguish between reality and fiction. Research shows that a majority of the people in the jury considers these shows as their favorite since they believe it provides them with relevant knowledge.

Most of them prepare their testimonies based on what they see in the programs hence not providing the prosecution with accurate information. This means that the effect of these programs is evident in both the jury and the witnesses, complicating the judicial process even more.

Even with the often times unrealistic and stretched technology, most of the science in these shows is at least based on a real technique that has worked or could work in the future” (Durnal 4).

The implication created in these shows indicates that the ideas presented in these programs are not entirely fiction. This actually creates further confusion because it brings about an illusion that the occurrences in these shows could be real. In fact this is what has made members of the jury who are well knowledgeable to fall in this trap.

Care needs to be taken to ensure that the illusion created does not eventually incline the justice system towards the CSI effects. The people involved in the justice system should come up with relevant changes that will tell the two apart.

Undue expectations have been placed on police, investigators and laboratory workers” (Durnal 4).

From what is seen in the CSI type of programs, the fictional solutions to crimes have resulted in unrealistic expectations among members of the public towards the police, laboratory technicians and the investigators. They always believe that the reason why investigations do not end up in real life as they do in the shows is because of the failure of one of these parties.

It is either that that the police or investigators did not carry out the investigations effectively or the laboratory workers are not competent enough. These notions can only be done away with if the judicial system is transformed in a way that will tell it part form the fictional views presented in the shows.

It has been documented that as a result of CSI – type shows, the number of students interested in forensic science has greatly increased” (Durnal 5).

These shows have created an immense interest to study forensic science in most people. Their intention of doing this is however not so clear since in most cases is driven by curiosity. The problem with this is that these people expect to come across the procedures from the shows yet they are not aware that these procedures are not real. If the judicial system changes in a way that will detach it from what is shown in the shows, the people will be able to tell the difference between facts and fiction.

The perceived Impact of crime scene investigation shows on the administration of justice

Some authorities even maintained that such shows may impact the operation of the civil justice system” (Hughes 261).

It has come to the attention of the authorities that the CSI effect is a real phenomenon. They also realized that this might have an effect in the operation of the justice system. This in itself is an indication that something needs to be done to the system to shelter it from this effect. Changes need to be made in a way that will ensure the justice system is sheltered from this effect. This means that it has to be upgraded to a level than only law experts can understand.

The popular media have long found criminal justice issues a fertile area for episodic stories. Is has also been asserted in the past that media representations have impacted the criminal justice system” (Hughes 263).

The media people have realized that CSI related programs are the catch. This explains why these programs are increasing on the TV screens by the day. Each show comes up with new techniques and technologies. As a result of this, people’s ideas tend to be edited each day. What has brought about this whole idea of the CSI effect is the effect that the media has on the public, such that they are not able to tell what is true and what is just meant to entertain them.

The concern here is that the portrayal of forensic science in criminal investigations creates expectations regarding the necessity and infallibility of science in solving crime” (Hughes 264).

One of the most dangerous outcomes of the CSI is the fact that it has led the public to believe that some tactics used in solving crimes can never go wrong. Scientific methods to be specific have been given unrealistic credit. This is a negative effect because what the media portrays as perfect could be the most flawed procedures. Some of these scientific procedures do not even exist in reality. This calls for a course of action whereby the justice a system should be separated from the illusion created by the media.

CSI and similar shows provide unrealistic examples regarding the speed with which forensic results are obtained” (Hughes 266).

This is another major problem brought about by the CSI effect. These shows last for only 45 minutes on the higher side. Yet by the end of that time, a crime has been discovered, investigated and the concerned people prosecuted. The public has been made to think that these procedures are real, hence creating a mindset that the scientific investigations are that fast. The only way to deal with this kind of thinking is to ensure that the procedures used in real life are different from the ones portrayed in the shows.

Some police and prosecutors have asserted that they must change the way they investigate and present their cases due to the impact of shows like CSI” (Hughes 267).

It has come to the attention of prosecutors and the police that the methods they have been using in investigations are no longer valid. This is as a result of the CSI effect which to some extent has exposed some of their procedures. The validity of their evidence is questioned especially when it is different from something that was seen in the TV. They have therefore been forced to change their way of doing things so that they can separate themselves completely from the CSI effect.

Citizens may demand higher end forensic tools, investigation and techniques for common crimes” (Hughes 268).

The investigation techniques used in CSI like shows are high tech and even some are not real. However, members of the public are not aware of this since they judge the credibility of the justice system by CSI standards. At the end of the day, they tend to demand that the tools used in investigating crimes be upgraded. What they fail to realize is that these tools and techniques are fictitious. As for some techniques, they can be achieved over time.

Researcher have contended that the media is the primary method by which the average person learns about the criminal justice system” (Hughes 270).

This assertion made in this statement imply that most common people could never have an idea of the operations of the criminal justice system had it not been for the media. The problem with this is that the ideas portrayed in these shows are mostly fiction. People therefore get informed in the wrong way hence misjudging the real procedures. Due to the media effect, people tend to believe what they get from the media more. This is why the justice system needs to be changed so that it is different from what is displayed on the screens.

These results indicate that judges do believe that shows like CSI impact their criminal justice system” (Hughes 270).

The results of research conducted to determine the extent of the CSI effect indicate that that most of the judges blame this to the incredibility of the justice system. Most of them believe that this effect has taken hold of the judicial system. If action is not taken promptly, they might be forced to adhere to the procedures presented in these shows. This will mean greater compromise in the justice system. The best way to deal with this therefore is to create the difference between the two.

Judges appear to see an increased desire for forensic evidence on the part of the fact finders” (Hughes 271).

It has come to the attention of the judges that most fact finders prefer forensic evidence. The CSI effect has made many people believe that this is the most accurate investigation tool. In fact, it does not present any of the shortcomings related to these procedures. Fact finders therefore get trapped in trying to emulate these procedures. They are determined to perform these procedures hence spending a lot of time and eventually they never get the desired results.

The respondents did perceive that these television shows created unrealistic representations as to the state of the forensic art in their jurisdiction, as well as to the speed of forensic testing” (Hughes 272).

The respondent to the research conducted on the CSI effect in relation to the justice system indicates that the public is aware that most of these programs are unrealistic. This however does not stop them from trying to relate these ideas to the real situations. They in fact believe that the forensic science used is not real, and so is the speed for conducting the forensic tests. Despite this, the shows still have an impact on their judgment.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the source

Crime Show Viewing Habits and Public Attitudes towards Forensic Evidence: The “CSI Effect” Revisited.

The author of this article has been trying to bring out the effects that CSI like shows have on investigations. People are no longer able to tell fiction from the truth and hence creating an unrealistic demand on the jurors, scientists and law enforcement agencies.

This article brings out a positive correlation between the demand for forensic science to be used in investigations and the increase in the viewing rate of CSI like shows. This explains why most people would believe a DNA test more than any other evidence. They are however oblivious of the fact that DNA samples are the easiest to distort and do away with. This article is relevant to the research question in that it explains why the criminal justice system needs to be altered.

Objection, your honor! Television is not the relevant authority.’ Crime drama portrayals of eyewitness issues.

This article brings out the shortcomings of the investigation methods depicted in the CSI programs. The study that creates a focus in this article was carried out with these programs in mind. It was meant to establish the extent over which these programs have affected the public’s knowledge of the criminal justice system.

People seem not to be aware that these procedures do not exist, or even if they do, they are not as accurate as they are made to appear. The experts however discredit these procedures terming them as insufficient and indicating that they often result in wrong judgment. This article can therefore be considered effective in bringing out the need for change in the criminal justice system.

The Impact of Crime Scene Investigation Shows on Administration of Justice.

Thomas Hughes examines that the influence of CSI related shows in the justice administration process. The judges who were examined admitted that these programs have a high effect on the justice system in the courtrooms today.

It has been established that the views of most people in relation to these crime programs has changed their entire thinking of the criminal justice system. In reality, these shows do not even grip the advancement of forensic analysis. Thomas Hughes goes ahead to explain how the distortion created by these shows has affected the judgment of the scientists.

Forensic science international: crime scene investigation (as seen on TV).

This article tries to bring out CSI effect different ways related to the justice system. The CSI effect has not only affected the court proceedings but also the criminal activities. This article explains how this impacts the crime processes, from the time the crime is committed to the time the criminal is prosecuted. The author here agrees with the existence of the CSI effect as well as the effects it has on the entire justice system. From this article therefore, the need for change in the criminal justice system is evident.

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