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Friday, September 16, 2011

Essay on CSI Effect - Arguments Why it is not Real

While there are those who say that the CSI Effects is real there are those who say that it is actually fiction.  Not everyone agrees that three television shows could actually change the manner by which cases are decided in the United States.  Some believe that saying that television shows could change the world is far from reality.

That television has an effect on courtrooms is not disputed.  The television has been one of the most powerful medium of information not only in the United States but in the world.  It has been instrumental in assisting the education of the public.  For instance, the NYPD Blue has been instrumental in educating the public about the Miranda rights.  The Miranda rights refer to the right of the persons who are being arrested to be informed about their right to be silent.

However, there is simply no direct evidence that can conclusively prove that the three CSI television series could actually increase the number of acquittals in criminal cases.  According to Simon Cole and Rachel Dioso (2005), “But to argue that "C.S.I." and similar shows are actually raising the number of acquittals is a staggering claim, and the remarkable thing is that, speaking forensically, there is not a shred of evidence to back it up. There is a robust field of research on jury decision-making but no study finding any "C.S.I. effect." (p.1)

As stated earlier, it is very difficult to establish the extent of the influence of a television show on the mind of the jury.  First, the jurors are precisely chosen because there is a perception that these individuals are known for probity and independence within the community.  They are people who are educated and are supposed to be intelligent.  To say that they are influenced by a television show which is more like a science fiction rather than a real science is preposterous.  Moreover, even if the jurors are actually influenced by televisions it would be difficult to determine whether the television show played a key role in the disposition of the criminal case.

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