The CSI effect is a phenomenon that now frustrates the american legal system. Prospective jurors are beginning to have unrealistic expectations of forensic technique and expect airtight cases with slam-dunk convictions. While television makes things look easy(as always), the fact is, that forensic science involves excruciatingly long procedures(DNA testing takes days/weeks, not hours to do) and don't always produce conclusive results. Experts blame the popularity of the the television shows Law and Order and CSI(hence the name). The CSI effect also applies to criminals who attempt to cover up their crimes by countering techniques seen on television, such as shaving off body hair to prevent leaving DNA.
A possible sign of the CSI effect: American universities are experiencing a sharp increase in students studying forensic science. However, this may be as much due to the publicity of the OJ Simpson and Scott Peterson murder trials
by gooberliberation January 02, 2006