Reviewing The Impact On The Criminal Justice System Criminology Essay

Forensic scientific discipline shows have become really popular within the last decennary, as constabulary and offense shows have moved off from the masculine bull on the street trailing the bad cat to demo where engineering and forensics help work out the instance ( Cavender and Deutsh, 2007 ) , ensuing in shows such as CSI, Bones, Dexter and going highly popular. CSI was the first major telecasting show to be based around forensics ( Brewer and Ley, 2010 ) , and was premiered in 2000, with the original programme being called CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and it rapidly became a success in America, the UK and around the universe, with two spin-off programmes being launched ; CSI: Miami in 2002 and CSI: New York in 2004. Many other forensic telecasting programmes have been aired due to the success of this sort of programme, such as Boness, Dexter, NCIS and many others. Although these programmes are a success with the general public some people fear that these shows are impacting how jurymans see forensic grounds in tribunal and therefore happening some suspects non guilty when they would hold returned a guilty finding of fact if it was non for these shows. This essay will analyze this consequence, known as the CSI consequence, on the different facets of the tribunal, such as the defense mechanism, the prosecution and jurymans. The essay will get down of by looking at how the forensics used in these shows differs to the forensics used by existent forensic experts. Concentrating on the ‘fake ‘ forensics in the shows every bit good as how the existent forensic methods are altered to bring forth the consequence needed in the show ( Cavender and Deutsh, 2007 ) . The essay will so look at the six affects identified by Cole and Dioso-Villa ( 2007 ) , concentrating on the strong prosecuting officers consequence, where the jurymans are assoiling more fishy, the weak prosecuting officers consequence, which is a response to the strong prosecuting officers consequence, and the contrary CSI consequence, where jurymans are really happening more suspects guilty as a consequence of forensic shows. The essay will eventually look at other shows and media signifiers that depict forensic and expression at how they affect jurymans and people ‘s perceptual experiences of forensics.

Forensic scientific discipline shows have created a civilization of premise, where forensic scientific discipline is non questionable but is a fact that can non be incorrect ( McQuiston-Surrett and Saks, 2009 ) . This can be seen in the manner jurymans and members of the public see the usage of fingerprint grounds. When a forensic expert says that the print found at the scene is a ‘match ‘ , or really similar, to the suspects print so viewing audiences of forensic shows will non oppugn the truth of the experts opinion, and will believe the experts sentiment to be a fact and non an sentiment. This can be seen in the remarks made by the justice in the instance of State v. Quintana ( 2004 ) where the suspect was reasoning that the fingerprint experts testimony was undependable. The justice commented that the utilizations of fingerprints was non unequivocal cogent evidence of the suspect being at the offense scene, saying that it was the expert ‘s sentiment that they were at that place and this may non be true.

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Many of the forensic techniques used on forensic shows do non be, as they are methods of roll uping and analyzing forensic grounds to assist the telecasting expects catch the culprit and are non available to forensic scientists in existent life ( Difonzo and Stern, 2007 ) . Some experts, such as Thomas Mauriello ( Cole and Dioso, 2005 ) , claim that around 40 per cent of the techniques used on forensic shows really do non be, and when the techniques do be they are non portrayed accurately, as the methods are altered to demo the ‘perfect ‘ aggregation and reading of the grounds. What is noticeable is that the ‘fake ‘ forensics used in telecasting shows are portrayed in a realistic manner, which frequently gives the feeling to the viewing audiences, and even some forensic experts, that the methods used are existent, as the techniques used are credible and are often used ( Cavender and Deutsh, 2007 ) . This portraiture of forensic scientific discipline in the media can impact jurymans in the tribunal room, because they may hold outlooks of the methods used by forensic scientists and the consequences produced through forensic analysis. Therefore they may anticipate forensic experts to transport out trial which do non be in world. Podlas ( 2006 ) notes that in forensic shows it is ever portrayed as being possible to pull out utile information signifier forensic grounds, when frequently it is non possible to make so due to the surrounding fortunes, such as the clip between the grounds being left and being collected. Some of the forensic techniques used on forensic shows do be but are non accurate methods, and the consequences are excluded from most tribunal suites ( Saks and Koehler, 2005 ) , as forensics in tribunals need to be of a certain criterion and dependability, under the Daubert criterion regulations. These forensic methods are frequently referred to as ‘junk ‘ forensics.

‘Junk ‘ forensic methods include designation through voice recordings, finding features of a individual through script or designation through bite Markss ( Podlas, 2006 ) . Other methods frequently used on forensic shows as conclusive grounds, which are problematic grounds in the courtroom, include ballistic trajectories, tool-marks and hair comparing ( Difonzo and Stern, 2007 ) . These are non seen as ‘sound ‘ grounds in tribunal because they are highly subjective and are really hard to happen a unequivocal lucifer, although they can be used much more easy to extinguish a suspect because of no similarities, instead than seeking to fit similarities. Bite Markss and tool Markss are hard to fit due to swelling and deformations on the tegument and it is hence hard to specify the form of the grade left behind, because the transportation grade is frequently different to the object that made it. When these methods are used in the tribunal room jurymans can wrongly misidentify this grounds as being conclusive due to how it is portrayed in forensic shows, and when these forensic methods are non used jurymans may oppugn the grounds for this, believing that such methods would either turn out the guilt or artlessness of the suspect ( Roane, 2005 ) . All of the methods mentioned above spring jurymans an unrealistic outlook of the forensics available and what forensics are ‘sound ‘ forensics, which are accurate and sure and hence allowed in tribunal, and those ‘fake ‘ or ‘junk ‘ forensics which are used in telecasting to assist them work out a instance, but can non be used in a existent courtroom as they do non be or are undependable ( Cavender and Deutsh, 2007 ) . Robbers ( 2008 ) researched the positions of prosecuting officers and defense mechanism lawyers and noted that some respondents had claimed they had noticed an addition in ‘junk ‘ forensics doing it into the tribunal every bit good as an addition in the usage of negative forensics to turn out what did n’t go on.

Cole and Dioso-Villa ( 2007 ) place six different consequence associated with the CSI consequence, the first affect is the strong prosecuting officers consequence, which means that jurymans are assoiling suspects wrongfully, because the jurymans have high outlooks of the forensic grounds presented by the prosecuting officers, based on their forensic cognition which they have learnt through watching telecasting programmes such as CSI and other similar shows. This includes jurymans assoiling suspects because of a deficiency of forensic grounds, even if there is plentifulness of non-forensic grounds to demo the suspect ‘s guilt, such as oculus informant testimonies. McQuiston-Surrett and Saks ( 2009 ) collected informations from several surveies and found that forensic expert informants and forensic grounds have a greater impact on the jurymans and ‘factfinders ‘ than non-forensic experts. The strong prosecuting officer ‘s consequence has been blamed for many high profile acquittals, such as that of Robert Blake, where the jury stated that they could non put the gun in the custodies of Robert due to a deficiency of forensic grounds, even though there were over 70 informants presented at tribunal ( Dakss, 2005 ) . In this instance the prosecuting officers blamed the CSI consequence for the acquittal as they believe that shows like CSI had increased the jurymans need for forensic grounds, and in peculiar a demand for gunshot residue, which they did non hold.

Robbers ( 2008 ) researched the positions of prosecuting officers and defense mechanism lawyers to see whether they had noticed forensic telecasting programmes holding an impact on the positions of the jury. She found that 79 per cent of the respondents could retrieve a instance where they thought that forensic shows had an influence the jurymans ‘ determination, and 53 per cent claimed that jurymans disregarded eyewitness testimony in favor of forensic grounds. Schweitzer and Saks ( 2007 as cited in Kim, Barak and Shelton, 2009 ) conducted an experiment where they showed pupils a transcript of a tribunal instance and asked them to rate how they perceived the forensic grounds presented. They found that those who on a regular basis watch forensic shows were more doubting of inconclusive grounds than those who do non on a regular basis ticker forensic shows, and hence they were less likely to convict. Although it has been blamed for many acquittals by prosecuting officers it is argued by many faculty members that really the opposite is true, and that the jurymans understand that the occupation for the prosecution and forensic scientists can be really hard, and that there is a higher load of cogent evidence on the prosecution to turn out the suspect ‘s guilt through the usage of forensic grounds ( Forensic Psychologist, 2010 ) . Mello ( 1997, as cited in Podlas, 2006 ) suggests that forensic grounds has changed the boundaries jurymans use to make up one’s mind if a suspect is guilty, from beyond sensible uncertainty to being ‘beyond any and all uncertainty ‘ ( Podlas, 2006: 436 ) , this can hold both a negative and positive consequence for prosecuting officers, as jurymans could be sympathetic to the prosecution as they know their load of cogent evidence is higher and therefore they might be more likely to believe them more. Or the jury could desire more forensic grounds to be presented to make the higher load of cogent evidence they expect, and when the forensic grounds is non presented they could be more likely to return with a non guilty finding of fact. The grounds against the strong prosecuting officers ‘ consequence will be explored in more item subsequently when researching the CSI consequence on suspects ‘ , besides known as the contrary CSI consequence ( Cole and Dioso-Villa, 2007 ) .

The 2nd consequence of the CSI effects identified Cole and Dioso-Villa ( 2007 ) is the weak prosecuting officer ‘s consequence. This is a response to the perceived strong prosecuting officer ‘s consequence mentioned above, and is an consequence on the prosecuting officer instead than on the jury, because of the prosecuting officers ‘ perceptual experience that jurymans are over assoiling suspects based on an evident deficiency of forensic grounds. The prosecuting officers have started to battle this perceived job by taking steps to antagonize it, such as oppugning jurymans about their perceptual experiences of forensics, before the start of the test, to guarantee that the jury do non anticipate to see forensic grounds that is either non needed in the instance or is non possible to obtain. They have besides started explicating to jurors the grounds for a deficiency of forensic grounds during the test every bit good as explicating the forensic grounds that is present. As Henderson ( as cited in Pyrek, 2007: 411 ) says, ‘prosecutors realize they have to contend the CSI consequence, whether it is existent or imagined ; they know that if they do n’t maintain explicating why certain types of grounds are n’t present in the instance, or why certain forensic trials were non conducted, jurymans ‘ outlooks will non be met and they will acquire the incorrect thought about the instance. ‘ What Henderson is depicting here is the weak prosecuting officers ‘ effects, saying an addition in the sum of information given by the prosecution to cover with the jurymans ‘ perceptual experiences of what forensic grounds is available to the forensic scientists and to the prosecution, and that the prosecution demand to oppugn the jurymans perceptual experiences of what forensic grounds should be presented. Robbers ( 2008 ) besides found grounds of this when she researched the positions of prosecuting officers and defense mechanism lawyers on the medias impact on jurymans. She noted that the bulk of the respondents said that they spent excess clip discoursing forensic grounds and 30 per cent said that they needed to advert forensic scientific discipline shows during tests to demo how they are unrealistic, and that jurymans should non anticipate the same forensics that are portrayed on telecasting.

Defendants are besides affected by the CSI consequence, harmonizing to Cole and Dioso-Villa ( 2007 ) . This consequence has besides been referred to as the ‘reverse CSI consequence ‘ by many, such as Professor Tyler ( Cole and Dioso-Villa, 2007 ) , as it is the antonym of the CSI consequence. This theory is that forensic telecasting shows, such as CSI, really better people ‘s perceptual experiences and apprehensions of forensics, as these shows portray forensics and forensic scientists as dependable and really believable. Jurors who have seen forensic shows can associate their screening experiences with that of the forensic experts in tribunal. The contrary CSI consequence has antecedently been discussed in this essay as grounds against a strong prosecuting officers ‘ consequence, as juries are going more sympathetic towards the prosecution and the forensic experts, as they are the 1s with the load of cogent evidence, and the usage of forensic grounds has increased the load of cogent evidence. Robbers ( 2008 ) noted that 11 per cent of defense mechanism lawyers who responded to her study felt that forensic shows portrayed them in a hapless visible radiation and therefore this made it harder for them to make their occupation, as the jury believe that the forensics are ever right and hence the suspect must be guilty and the defense mechanism lawyers are supporting the guilty. False or misdirecting testimony by forensic experts has led to many unlawful strong beliefs, with 63 per cent of unlawful strong beliefs holding an facet of false or deceptive forensic testimony as a conducive factor, harmonizing to Saks and Koehler ( 2005 ) . This is the 2nd most common factor behind eyewitness designations, which is a factor in 71 per cent of unlawful strong beliefs, demoing that although forensic grounds is preferred to oculus informant testimonies it is non far behind oculus informant testimonies as a factor for unlawful strong beliefs.

A ground for the contrary CSI consequence is that forensic shows portray forensic testers as believable professionals who follow the grounds, and merely the grounds, to happen the suspect ( Difonzo and Stern, 2007 ) . Shows such as CSI portray the experts as ne’er doing any human mistake, ever being accurate, ne’er polluting the grounds and ne’er implicating the incorrect individual. Therefore suspects are being found guilty when they would usually be acquitted because the jury believe in the grounds excessively much, as they believe that the grounds is ne’er incorrect and that the experts who follow the grounds ne’er make errors or acquire personally involved in a instance and prevarication to acquire the consequence that they want ( Podlas, 2006 ) . Podlas discusses how the CSI consequence benefits the prosecution ; she says that the manner in which the forensic experts and offense scene analysts are depicted effects how jurymans see forensic grounds when it is presented in tribunal. She notes that forensic scientists and the methods used in shows such as CSI are portrayed as legitimate and dependable and are ne’er incorrect, intending that the prosecuting officers ‘ instance can non be incorrect. The scientific discipline used in forensic telecasting shows is ever unequivocal and there is ne’er any uncertainty as to whether the suspect is guilty or non, this is frequently reinforced with a confession by the suspect, which matches the forensic experts reading of events ( Smith, Patry and Stinson, 2007 ) .

In forensic shows such as CSI and Bones the forensic experts work closely with the constabulary and other jurisprudence enforcement organic structures, but at the same clip they are portrayed as being independent from the constabulary, as a impersonal portion of the probe ( Stephens, 2007 ) . But in existent forensic labs the constabulary frequently tell the forensic experts about the suspects they have identified, through other constabularies methods, when they pass on forensic grounds to the experts. This is because many forensic labs in America are portion of the constabulary section and as a consequence forensic scientists have been known to distort grounds and prevarication in tribunal so that the grounds incriminates the suspect ( Ross, 2011 ) . This consequences in forensic experts seeking to turn out the guilt of the suspect utilizing the forensic grounds instead than analyzing the grounds as it is without a prejudice towards a peculiar suspect. This can be seen in an experiment carried out by Dror, Charlton and P & A ; eacute ; Ron ( 2006 ) ; they presented fingerprint experts with a brace of fingerprints and told them that the two sets of fingerprint were non a lucifer. Most of the fingerprint experts in the survey came to the decision that the prints did non fit, when in fact they were fingerprints which the experts had matched antecedently in their calling, demoing that intercession from others can take to misunderstanding of the grounds by experts, which many positions of forensic shows believe can non go on. Forensic grounds in telecasting shows is ne’er contaminated and there is ne’er any human mistake in the reading of the grounds ( Difonzo and Stern, 2007 ) and on the few occasions in forensic shows where grounds is taint or there is human error the beginning is ever identified before a the suspect is convicted, demoing that if there are any mistakes they are ever identified and can be solved rapidly, whilst non damaging the instance against the suspect. All of this shows that jurymans believe that the forensic labs are impersonal and do non do mistakes, as this is how it is portrayed on telecasting, when in fact this is non ever true due to shut relationship between the constabulary and forensic labs in America.

Cole and Dioso-Villa ( 2007 ) identified three other claims that are a consequence from the CSI consequence ; these are the manufacturer ‘s consequence, the professor ‘s version and the Police Chiefs vision. The manufacturer ‘s consequence is the claim by the manufacturers of CSI and other forensic telecasting shows that such shows are educational and are doing the public aware of forensics, and hence doing jurymans better at measuring the forensic grounds presented to them, which combines all the ‘positive ‘ facets of strong prosecuting officers ‘ consequence and the contrary CSI consequence. The professor ‘s version is that forensic scientific discipline shows have led to an addition in the figure of appliers for forensic scientific discipline classs, but the figure of pupils dropping out of such classs has increased, because the existent forensics are non how it is portrayed on telecasting. The concluding claim of the CSI consequence is that of the Police, that forensic shows are educating felons on how to avoid sensing by taking grounds from the offense scene and taking excess safeguards to non go forth grounds behind. There is besides grounds of there being no consequence from forensic shows in tribunal. Podlas ( 2006 ) conducted an experiment utilizing university pupils, giving them a colza instance where there was no forensic grounds present and none was required, as the instance was to place if the victim had consented or non, and found that those who on a regular basis watch CSI were no more likely to happen the suspect non guilty than those who do non on a regular basis watch such programmes, demoing that there was no CSI consequence nowadays in her experiment. Many of the experiments that claim to demo the CSI were conducted utilizing a mock jury, who frequently know what they experiment is seeking to turn out, or are based on the sentiments of the prosecution or defense mechanism, who are really colored and are likely to utilize the CSI consequence as an alibi for losing their instance. Stephens ( 2007 ) starts her paper on the CSI consequence by said that that there are legion grounds and sentiments for there being a CSI consequence are they really compelling, but that there is small cogent evidence of the phenomenon.

It is non merely fictional forensic shows that influence people ‘s perceptual experience of forensic scientific discipline, the intelligence and other factual programmes besides impact people ‘s forensic cognition ( Brewer and Ley, 2010 ) , as increased coverage of Deoxyribonucleic acid in the intelligence since the 1990 ‘s has led to people being more knowing of capable, and its utilizations in condemnable instances. Some research workers have found the antonym to be true, such as Brewer and Ley ( 2010 ) who found that those who watch a high proportion of telecasting, non merely forensic programmes, have a lower apprehension of DNA than those that do non watch as much telecasting. They besides looked at other signifiers of media and found that those who regally read a newspaper by and large had a higher self-perceived apprehension of DNA, although they may non in fact have a better apprehension of it than other people, they merely perceive themselves to make so. There are besides many true-crime programmes such as Forensic Files and The FBI Files. These shows portray existent life offense and demo how existent investigators solved the instance and the consequences of the tribunals. These are existent and hence portray forensics as they were used in the existent instances ( Brewer and Ley, 2010 ) . No significant research has been carried out in to the effects of these sorts of programmes on jurymans and hence small is known as to whether they affect how jurymans see forensics in tribunal.

This essay has explored how forensic programmes such as CSI and Boness have impacted people ‘s perceptual experiences of forensic scientific discipline and how this has impacted the condemnable justness system. The essay began by researching the forensics techniques used in forensic shows and the ‘fake ‘ and ‘junk ‘ forensic techniques have meant that people ‘s outlooks of the types of forensics that can be used in tribunal are different to the types of forensics which are really used. The essay so went on to research the different CSI effects identified by Cole and Dioso-Villa ( 2007 ) . The first was the strong prosecuting officer ‘s consequence, which was the thought that the jurymans are anticipating more forensics from the constabulary and prosecution to be presented in tribunal, when frequently the forensics are non needed due to oculus informant testimony, or the forensic technique the jury want to see does non be or is non allowed in tribunal ( Cavender and Deutsh, 2007 ) . Therefore jurymans are assoiling suspects more frequently, as their load of cogent evidence is higher than earlier as they want to see more forensic grounds presented. The 2nd consequence is the weak prosecuting officer ‘s consequence, this is a response to the strong prosecuting officer ‘s consequence, as the prosecution have to pass more clip educating and oppugning the jury so that they know what to anticipate from the instance, and that they should non anticipate the same forensics that they see on telecasting ( Pyrek, 2007 ) . The 3rd chief consequence is the contrary CSI consequence, this is that jurymans are more likely to happen a suspect guilty because they understand that the constabulary and prosecution have a hard occupation to transport out and hence experience more sympathetic towards them. The jurymans are besides more likely to swear the forensic grounds which is presented in tribunal as they do non believe that the grounds can be contaminated or that the experts are incorrect, and they believe that the forensic experts ne’er lie, because of how it is portrayed on telecasting ( Ross, 2011 ) . Finally the essay explored the other types of telecasting and media that depict forensics and how these might impact jurymans. The general consensus amongst academic and professionals seems to be that forensics in the media has raised the outlooks of the jurymans, as they want to see more forensic grounds ( Difonzo and Stern, 2007 ) , because the media circulates cultural images of forensics which influence our mundane life and our apprehension of it ( Wilson, 2000 as cited in Cavender and Deutsh, 2007 ) , but at the same clip many experiment have shown that the CSI consequence does non be, but is imagined and is used as a ground when the prosecution or defense mechanism do non win a instance which they think they should.