Law Imitating Art

Are jurors’ expectations shaped by popular culture?

Check out the so-called CSI (forensic evidence) phenomenon:

The CSI Effect: Fact or Fiction (Yale Law Journal Pocket Part)

Viewing CSI and the Threshold of Guilt (Yale Law Journal)

Law and the Lab (Wall Street Journal)

America Falls for the ‘CSI’ Effect (The Daily Cardinal)

Defense, Prosecution Play to New ‘CSI’ Savvy (The Washington Post)

The Real CSI (Sunday Herald Sun)

Courtroom Life Imitates Art (

According to a recent study, television shows like ‘CSI’ have only limited effects on juror behavior.

For a strong record of effective DNA-based acquittals, go to Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project

Of course, DNA testing is a two-way street. New DNA tests recently confirmed the guilt of Roger Keith Coleman, who went to his death in Virginia’s electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence. [More on the Coleman case]

How did a docudrama riddled with fiction change the fate of a criminal defendant convicted of killing a Dallas police man?

See interview with Richard Sherwin on Errol Morris’s “docudrama” The Thin Blue Line (1988)

Can Digital Photos Be Trusted? (what happens to law when, with digital technology’s help, ‘seeing is no longer believing’?[See Popular Science]