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TV Programs Effect Jurors

photograph from Law & Government story

(1/20/06)

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Some lawyers who try to prove that someone did a crime are saying that TV shows are making their job harder. TV programs show science quickly proving crimes. One popular show that does this is called CSI.

These lawyers say that solving crimes in real life is not like that in the real world. Unfortunately, some juries expect them to prove crimes that way. This problem is being called the “CSI Effect.”

On TV shows like CSI, the police are always able to show high-tech scientific proof that the person is guilty in just one hour. No one can argue with that kind of proof. Some people think that now real juries want to see that kind of proof before they will say someone is guilty.

One lawyer says that the real world is not like the TV programs. For example, tests that are done in minutes on TV can take weeks to do in reality. Not all evidence can be tested scientifically. This lawyer asks jurors about what TV shows they watch. She also tells them that the way things are proved in the real world is very different from what they see on TV.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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