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CSI Effect

The CSI effect refers to the belief that jurors' expectations about forensic evidence at trial are changing due to the popularity of crime investigation programming such as CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Much of the support for this effect comes from anecdotal evidence. The limited empirical evidence on this topic indicates that CSI may influence some of jurors' case perceptions but has no effect on verdict decisions.

CSI is one of the most popular shows on network television, consistently ranking high in the Nielsen ratings and spawning several spin-off shows. These shows depict crime scene investigators using highly technical procedures to recover microscopic evidence that ultimately reveals the details of the crime, including the perpetrator. Criminal investigations in real life differ markedly from this representation. In ...

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