Prosecutor Seeks Disclaimers On TV Crime Shows


Some Arizona jurors may be under the spell of the “CSI Effect” – looking solely for scientific proof and disregarding witnesses and police testimony, says the East Valley (Az.) Tribune. Maricopa County prosecutor Andrew Thomas last week asked local affiliates of NBC, ABC and CBS to put a disclaimer at the beginning of television shows like “CSI” and “Law & Order” stating that the programs are fiction.

In a new study by the county prosecutor’s office, 38 percent of more than 100 prosecutors believed they had at least one trial with an acquittal or hung jury because forensic evidence wasn't readily available, despite a convincing amount of other information. About 40 percent of the time, jurors mention things such as latent prints, ballistics, or mitochondrial DNA. “The shows give the impression that these are the types of things we should be looking for in trials,” Thomas said. Officials are confident that adding disclaimers would provide a much-needed dose of reality to drama seekers.


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