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CSI Effect Theory: New Website

The National Institute of Justice has launched an interactive website dedicated to exploring the CSI Effect theory and the myths and facts surrounding forensic evidence presentation in the courtroom. The website is targeted to officers of the court and provides the latest research on the CSI Effect theory as well as observations from trusted experts throughout the justice community. It can be accessed at http://projects.nfstc.org/csieffect

The CSI Effect theory asserts that popular TV crime dramas that focus on forensic science, may affect the behavior and expectations of jurors in real-life cases. The theory also suggests that jurors’ perceptions of the need for specific forensic evidence may impact their decisions in the courtroom.

Through videos and interviews with respected criminal justice practitioners, the CSI Effect Theory website provides new insights into the effects television dramas may be having on today’s juries. Visitors to the website will:

  • Hear experts from the prosecution, defense and the bench examine the evidence regarding the CSI Effect; 
  • Gain strategies to employ in the courtroom that help ensure deliberations in trial proceedings are based on facts, not fiction; 
  • Understand the role crime dramas are playing in influencing juror perception of forensics-based evidence, such as DNA;
  • Access additional resources and evidence pertaining to the CSI Effect theory  

 The CSI Effect Theory website features insights and opinions from: 

  • Robert O’Neill, U.S. Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa, FL.
  • Nick Mooney, Senior Counsel for Bromagen & Rathet, P.A., in Tampa, FL.
  • Honorable Thane B. Covert, Pinellas Circuit Judge, Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County, FL.
The CSI Effect Theory was developed for NIJ by the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC), award # 2008-IJ-CX-K405.