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Abstract

The “CSI Effect” was first described in the media as a phenomenon resulting from viewing forensic and crime based television shows. This effect influences jurors to have unrealistic expectations of forensic science during a criminal trial and affect jurors’ decisions in the conviction or acquittal process. Research has shown the “CSI Effect” has a possible pro-defense bias, in that jurors are less likely to convict without the presence of some sort of forensic evidence. Some studies show actors in the criminal justice system are changing their tactics, as if this effect has a significant influence, causing them to request unnecessary crime lab tests and expert testimonies. One of the solutions proposed to overcome this influence is creating multimedia jury instructions, such as using photos, animations, and videos, regarding any forensic testing process applicable to the case to correct any misinformation and facilitate learning. A second solution is to develop a scale, which will assist in identifying jurors who have been influenced by these types of television shows, to eliminate them from the jury selection process before the start of a trial.