The CSI Effect Theory

This just in from the NIJ:

The National Institute of Justice has launched an interactive website dedicated to exploring the CSI Effect theory and the myths and facts surrounding forensic evidence presentation in the courtroom. The website is targeted to officers of the court and provides the latest research on the CSI Effect theory as well as observations from trusted experts throughout the justice community. It can be accessed by clicking here.

The CSI Effect theory asserts that popular TV crime dramas that focus on forensic science, may affect the behavior and expectations of jurors in real-life cases. The theory also suggests that jurors’ perceptions of the need for specific forensic evidence may impact their decisions in the courtroom. Through videos and interviews with respected criminal justice practitioners, the CSI Effect Theory website provides new insights into the effects television dramas may be having on today’s juries. Visitors to the website will:

  • Hear experts from the prosecution, defense and the bench examine the evidence regarding the CSI Effect; 
  • Gain strategies to employ in the courtroom that help ensure deliberations in trial proceedings are based on facts, not fiction; 
  • Understand the role crime dramas are playing in influencing juror perception of forensics-based evidence, such as DNA; 
  • Access additional resources and evidence pertaining to the CSI Effect theory 
 The CSI Effect Theory was developed for NIJ by the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), award # 2008-IJ-CX-K405.

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