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Forensic Psychology - CSI Effect

Group Term Presentation for PSC 300.03: Forensic Psychology.

Anders Goodwin

on 20 October 2012

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Transcript of Forensic Psychology - CSI Effect

What is the CSI Effect? The term “CSI Effect,”
in the context of criminal jury trials, is
commonly used to define the impact that viewing fictional criminal
investigation shows like Crime Scene Investigation
(“CSI”) has upon
jurors’ real life decision-making processes (1). The CSI Effect - Jury Style! The CSI Effect - Criminal Style! Takeaways The CSI Effect - Fact or Fiction? A presentation by Jacob Birenbaum, Matthew Breuer, Anders Goodwin, Samantha Klein, and Kaylie Longley Bibliography 1. Lawson, Tamara F. (11/3/2009). Before the Verdict and Beyond the Verdict: The CSI Infection Within Modern Criminal Jury Trials. Loyola University Chicago Law Journal. Volume 41. Retrieved from http://www.luc.edu/law/activities/publications/lljdocs/vol41_no1/pdfs/lawson_verdict.pdf
Retrieved on 9/30/12.

2. Fox News. (1/11/2011). CSI Effect - Solving Crime is Never as Simple as on TV. Youtube. Retrieved from <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB6xDDgj1xY> Retrieved on 9/30/12.

3. Mirsky, Steve. "Crime Scene Instigation." Crime Scene Instigation: Scientific American. Scientific American, 25 Apr. 2005. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=crime-scene-instigation>.

4. King Greenwood, Jill. "Experts: Criminals Get Tips from Forensic Television Shows." PoliceOne. Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 27 Nov. 2006. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://www.policeone.com/news/1193563-Experts-Criminals-get-tips-from-forensic-television-shows/>.

5. Podlas, K. (2010). The potential impact of television on jurors. Presentation at Pattern Evidence Symposium, 1-24.

6. Shelton, D., Young, K., and Barak, G. (2006). A Study of Juror Expectations andDemands Concerning Scientific Evidence: Does the “CSI Effect” Exist? Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment& Technology Law, 9. Retrieved from <http://washtenawtrialcourt.org/general/administration/general/judge_prfiles/DESresue/DESPubs/CSI%0article%20(published).pdf> It's not just about trials, though: the CSI Effect has been hypothesized to effect just about every facet of crime and the criminal justice system. But you're just here for the video (2). "What I've heard is that it's closely watched in prisons, and prisons become almost like a crime school for certain individuals. They'll look at a particular segment and say, 'So that's how they caught me. Well, I won't make those mistakes again.' " ~Richard Ernest, a forensic firearms expert in Fort Worth, Tex (3) CSI-Crazed Clumsy Criminals "When the secrets get out about how we solve crimes, the criminals change their habits… The evidence we used to see left behind at scenes isn't there as much anymore, and some of these suspects will tell you that they figured out how to avoid mistakes because of what they saw on television. They're covering their tracks, largely due to what Hollywood shows them." ~ Pittsburgh police Sgt. Paul McComb, a 26-year veteran who heads the bureau's mobile crime unit CSI - Training for Criminals? DNA - No Way, Jose! 40% of jurors asked questions using terms not brought up in the trial such as "Latent prints" and "Trace Evidence". 38% of the prosecutors surveyed in Thomas (2006), stated that they believed at least one trial they worked resulted in an acquittal or a hung jury because the desired forensic evidence was not available. Wacky Cases from Jacob "Essentially, as prosecutors complained of a “CSI Effect,” the media reported, and as the media reported, prosecutors complained; Eventually the public began to believe in this effect." (5) "Research reveals that most of what the public knows – or thinks it knows – about law and the legal system comes from television." (5) Jurors' Expectations: Real Judge vs. TV Judge Data from a survey - "Law Related Television Programs" 46.3% of jurors wanted physical evidence for every case. (6) Is there a correlation between watching a CSI-type TV show and handing down a guilty verdict? Not really. (6) 1. The CSI Effect is really a series of effects that crime and law TV shows supposedly have on the real-life events they portray. 2. Roughly half of jurors surveyed expect physical evidence such as DNA or fingerprints to appear in every criminal trial. 4. However, there seems to be no correlation between the presence or absence of physical evidence and conviction rates. 3. Prosecutors believe they are held to a higher standard of evidence due to the preponderance of crime media. 5. Criminals are using tricks from crime shows to cover their tracks. 6. They're also taking steps to foil investigations, such as refusing to give DNA to be tested. Rape case solve rates have dropped from 51.3% in 1995 to 41.3% in 2005, coinciding with the rise of crime dramas. CSI: Ripon
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