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NCJ Number: 221904 Find in a Library
Title: Blinded by Science: The Social Construction of Reality in Forensic Television Shows and Its Effect on Criminal Jury Trials
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:19  Issue:1  Dated:March 2008  Pages:84-102
Author(s): Monica L. P. Robbers
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 19
Publisher: http://www.sagepub.com/ 
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the social distance between popular media depictions of criminal investigations (Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)) and reality (the CSI effect), and the extent to which these depictions influenced criminal jury trials as experienced by trial counsel and judges.
Abstract: Results from the study indicate three themes. Theme one addresses specific instances of cases where respondents felt case outcomes had been influenced by forensic television shows, and 79 percent of all respondents responded in the affirmative. Theme two addresses changes in respondents’ job execution because of forensic shows. Eighty-five percent of respondents commented their jobs had changed in some way. The most commonly cited change was additional time spent at trial discussing forensic evidence. Theme three examines the general effects of the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) effect, and results strongly indicate jurors’ construction of the criminal justice system is shaped by what they view is popular media. Respondents commented on jurors’ belief that investigators had small caseloads and unlimited resources for solving crimes. Using a social construction of reality perspective, this study examined the social distance between popular media depictions of criminal investigations and reality, and the extent to which these depictions influenced criminal jury trials. In other words, according to criminal justice practitioners, does the CSI effect exist? Tables, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Jury decisionmaking; Television programming
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Forensic sciences; Juries; Jury research; Media coverage; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public information
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=243789

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