A Student Report on Crime Drama Shows
In this Crime Dramas Report that is part of the “Young Minds and Students of Today” feature, Jessica F, a 16-year-old student, is the featured writer. This report shows her aptitude in analyzing investigative drama. You may not have seen the television shows referenced. Then again maybe you have. This Crime Dramas Report is not to promote viewing of such shows or television period. It is to show Jessica’s ability to gather, sift through, and report information in a journalistic way the facts to others.
Thank you, Jessica!
If you appreciate this writing style report by Jessica, Feel free to share it on Social Media. Now pay close attention and enjoy part one of this report.
The Crime Drama Shows Report Part A
CSI, NCIS, Law & Order and Numb3rs to name just a few of the crime drama TV shows that have become household names over the past few years and they bring in audiences of hundreds of millions from around the world every week. But is it possible for something on the small screen to be transposed – and affect crime in real life?
Today’s Hollywood portrayals of police work have offered millions a glimpse into the criminal justice system and a profession, which until recently, has remained behind the scenes of day to day life. Books, television, movies and other forms of mass media have always influenced the criminal justice system; however, few have set off such a visible public chain reaction as CSI. Perhaps this is because a weekly dose of crime scene photos, attractive actors and realistic looking forensic methods are naturally going to make more of a lasting impression than a once-watched movie or long ago read book.
Today’s ‘reality television’ craze has placed scripted programs at a disadvantage to their competitors. Writers are under pressure to convince viewers that there is some degree of authenticity to their scripts; however the public’s insatiable desire for reality must be quenched in a one hour time slot. During this ‘Hollywoodisation’ process much of the content which accurately describes how real life investigations are conducted is left on the cutting room floor. This leaves the viewers with a false understanding about how complex and challenging investigative work can actually be. Ultimately, television operates on a profit basis and once the big money advertisement deal has been secured the necessity of providing accurate scripts becomes less and less important as long as audiences are still drawn and the cash flow continues.
The most evident result of CSI Syndrome is jurors thinking they have a thorough understanding of forensic science that has been ‘presented’ to them on television, when they don’t. Jurors are asking for more forensic evidence when it is not needed, choosing to believe science over eye-witness accounts. In Arizona, a man charged with a burglary in Tempe was acquitted, even though a witness testified about seeing the defendant dragging a stereo from the store. The police also discovered burglary tools in his car when he was arrested. The Arizona Republic reported jurors determined the police should have found the man’s fingerprints inside the store. Moreover this increased demand for forensic evidence has boosted workloads for crime laboratories, which are forced to run unnecessary tests which take far longer than the public understand. In a recent murder trial, the judge observed “Thanks to television, jurors know what DNA tests can do, but they don’t know when it’s appropriate to use them.”
See A Student Report on Crime Drama Shows Part B
In this Crime Dramas Report article, Jessica F, a 16-year-old student, is the featured writer.
We Pick up on part B of ‘Everyone’s an Expert: Do You Have CSI Syndrome?’
However, the CSI effect can also be positive. In one case in Virginia, jurors asked the judge if a cigarette butt had been tested for possible DNA matches to the defendant in a murder trial. It had, but the defence lawyers had failed to introduce the DNA test results as evidence. When they did those results exonerated the defendant, who was acquitted.
Juries have been deluded by suave television programs where complicated scientific processes take a matter of seconds rather than a realistic time period. Picture this, a middle aged woman is sat alone in a fast-food diner in California, she is tucking in to a bowl of chilli, each bite is more delicious than the last. She chews, savouring in the exquisite flavours, but then, something is wrong. She spits, she screams, the woman vomits. All eyes in the diner now focus in on the table where a well-manicured fingertip now peaks out from a bowl of masticated chilli.
Loud sirens, forensic experts trawl the area, the spot covered ‘fry cooks’ are lined up, fingers are pointed, fingers are counted and the nub is placed into a sealed evidence bag. The fingerprint is run through IAFIS (Integrated Automatic Fingerprint Identification System), DNA tests are taken and detectives search for clues.
If this had been an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation- and it might well become one – an attractive Special Agent would sweep the area for evidence, a fingerprint would be taken and matched within 30 minutes. The victim a beautiful twenty-two year old would be found. Then the unexpected twist, a trace of blood under the fingernail would lead the investigation team to her killer: a jealous fashion photographer unwilling to let go of his star. All of this wrapped up within a neat hour bundle.
But this isn’t CSI, this is real life, and last year Anna Ayala reported her disturbing find at Wendy’s restaurant, and investigators are still stumped (pun intended). The fingerprint didn’t match anyone in the system, DNA tests came back fruitless. On CBS’ CSI, results are fast, sexy and remarkably certain, propelling CSI and similar shows such as NCIS to the top of the viewing charts, bringing in around 140 million viewers a week, making it the most popular television network in the world…
This Crime Dramas report has two parts left for your research and interest!
A Student Crime Drama Report Part D
This report shows her aptitude to analyze investigative drama. You may have never seen the television shows referenced. Then again maybe you have. This report is not to promote viewing of such shows or television period. It is to show Jessica’s ability to gather, sift through, and report information in a journalistic way the facts to others. Parts A, B, and D are posted at this website. Part C covers the ‘More disturbingly’ research in this report. Yes, we read such things in the daily newspaper and the Internet. Still, it has been decided to only make available part C via e-mail request.
The lesser side of the CSI Syndrome is the sudden surge of people who are wishing to study Mathematics, Science and Forensic Science at University. There has been an especially high influx of women and this has been dubbed ‘The Abby Effect’, after the TV series NCIS’ character; Abby Scuito. The actress who plays Abby, Pauley Perrette stated “We’ve been on the show nine seasons and these girls started watching when they were young, and they’re in college now. I get letters and stuff from people all the time, all over the world – parents, grandparents, kids themselves – that say this fictional character that I play ‘influenced them’ and now they’re pursuing math and science.” In 2004, Forensic programs at the Florida International University, and the University of California doubled in size, reportedly due the CSI Effect. Universities around the world, including counties such as the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and many more have all had an increased number of applicants wishing to study forensic science.
Although shows like CSI, are often criticized for portraying technologies that do not exist, they do inspire inventors and research teams; for it is not uncommon for scientific breakthroughs to have first been portrayed in science fiction. In 2006 IBM and Memphis Police Department developed software to predict crime locations and time frames, an idea from the 2002 science-fiction film Minority Report.
Yet perhaps the least reported effect of the popular crime shows like CSI is the basic physiological one. They assure us that there are “good guys” out there, the white hats, ready to protect us, and the “bad guys” can only run so far before they are eventually brought to justice. There is little reality in any of the television crime dramas discussed in this article, but they portray the criminal justice system in a light that most people are happy to accept; if nothing else they offer the hope that the system works. Few Briton’s have ever seen a “real” trial up close, and even fewer have witnessed a criminal investigation. However, almost all Briton’s have watched, from their living rooms, what they believe both should look like. Crime dramas not only provide us with a basic understanding of the criminal justice system, but provide us with a “dream world of justice.” Yet prosecutors and defence attorneys alike can only cringe at the thought that while “justice may be blind . . . but it still manages to tune in to CSI.”
In this Crime Dramas Report, If you appreciate this report writing style by Jessica, please share it on Twitter, Facebook additional Social Media websites.
This article was published here at the (POCBOOKS) Product of Culture website in the year 2012 when Jessica was a teenager. She has since gone on to medical school where her keen mind will continue to help others around her.