The unrealistically high expectations some jurors have for the prosecution’s case in a criminal court proceeding, particularly when those expectations are created by exposure to forensic-oriented TV shows. Also: CSI factor, CSI syndrome.
"It's called the 'CSI effect,' after the show," she said. "The prosecution is expected to reconstruct the case for the jury, just like they do on TV. The jury wants to be wowed with pictures, just like on 'CSI.' They want 'my case' to be worthy of an Emmy. They don't want to be let down and if they are, they won't convict."
—John Darling, "CSI: SOU," Mail Tribune, November 23, 2005
Durst was acquitted in November. To legal analysts, his case seemed an example of how shows such as CSI are affecting action in courthouses across the USA by, among other things, raising jurors' expectations of what prosecutors should produce at trial.
Prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges call it "the CSI effect," after the crime-scene shows that are among the hottest attractions on television.
—Richard Willing, "'CSI effect' has juries wanting more evidence," USA Today, August 5, 2004
The myth of quick-and-easy crime busting may be starting to get in the way of law enforcement. Forensic scientists speak of something they call the CSI effect, a growing public expectation that police labs can do everything TV labs can. This, they worry, may poison jury pools, which could lose the ability to appreciate the shades of gray that color real criminal cases.
—Jeffrey Kluger, "How Science Solves Crimes," Time Magazine, October 21, 2002