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Argument Paper

1495 words - 6 pages

The CSI EffectAlthough some may feel they can differentiate reality from fiction, one would be surprised how easily their sense of reality can be altered. Media, specifically television, gives us great knowledge about what is going on in the world around us-for instance, the news; however, it is also television that gives us great pleasure with its fictional television shows. Law and Order, CSI, and Criminal Minds-all great television shows based off crime reports, witness statements, and the help of great Hollywood writers. It is from these shows that the concept, "The CSI Effect" has been created. This phenomenon is the idea that these shows that falsely portray our criminal justice system-the public, specifically jurors, will have a misconception of legal tactics and procedures. The concern though, where is the line drawn from reality to fiction in television? People can easily see on these shows paperwork being written up in seconds and lab results returned instantly-giving false pretenses to those who watch and believe these shows to hold true value. By giving people a preset notion of what to expect, our society should recognize these shows have a great impact on the public, those who dream to have careers like those in the shows, and on our legal system todayOn one given night, 30 million people watch CSI, and more than a collective 100 million viewers watch shows revolving around scientific, crime-solving dramas a week (Shelton, 2008). The popularity of the show and others like it has prompted many studies and articles arguing the prevalence of the CSI Effect, and how much of an impact it can actually have on our legal system. One of the most important parts of our legal system takes place after someone has been arrested, and is going through a trial-as it is our human right to a fair trial by a jury. I feel a juror should not be allowed to sit on the jury especially if the juror is biased based off the shows they watch; a juror should have no preset notion of what they expect from a trial before entering. Also, I am adamant a person is not qualified to be on a jury if upon entering a trial, a juror has already had their crime lens, their perception of crime, altered from crime shows as they already will have a biased preference for scientific evidence over circumstantial. For example, an experimental study of jurors was conducted to determine if current juries expect and demand scientific evidence and, if so, it is related to their television watching:Shelton's study in 2006 and 2009 found the following:The studies found that jurors do indeed expect prosecutors to present scientific evidence and that, especially in cases where the rest of the evidence is circumstantial; they will demand scientific evidence before they will return a verdict of guilty. (p. 116)Shelton's experiment not only demonstrates those who watch these shows can have their crime lens altered, but since they are bias based off the shows they watch-the could possibly...

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