Discussion in 'Forensic Science' started by mediasam, Oct 5, 2007.
does anyone have any opinions of how csi represents forensic science?
Even though the shows' producers have technical experts to give advice, they do take some liberties. For example, DNA tests usually takes several days, but they speed it up in the shows because they have to tell a story in 44 minutes (an hour show minus the commercials). Some prosecutors hate when juries expect all the types of evidence (fingerprints, DNA, trace, documents) when a case does not really require it, just because they saw it on CSI or its spinoffs. My opinion is that I have learned a lot about criminal investigation thanks to the shows. (In case I ever commit a crime. )
P.S. Welcome to the board.
Well, there are a hundred things they do wrong, like contaminating the scene in numerous ways. But it does get people interested, etc.
Do you want to know specifically what they do wrong? lol
A couple of other things I just thought of that they do wrong are:
1: In many major cities, the CSIs collect the evidence and pass it on to lab technicians. In the shows Delko (Miami) or Messer (NY) will go from the crime scene right to the microscopes. Here in the state capitol city of Charleston, WV, the city police department delivers evidence to the WV State Police lab in South Charleston (city just outside of Charleston).
2: Usually police detectives do the interrogating of suspects. The CSIs on the show do that even when a police detective is present.
I guess the producers want to give the main stars most of the air time instead of lots of support cast, but it is not like real life.
^ Isn't it like that all over the world? I'm a forensics student in England and here CSIs (called SOCOs) collect the evidence, and give it to a lab for analysis, who then give the results to the police.
There just isn't enough time for CSIs to do it all. Some police officers are being trained to collect evidence though, run fingerprints and shoeprints, but that's it and that's just to cut time I'm guessing.
I think it works better on the show for them to do it all, makes for better tv.
As mentioned in real life csi don't question suspects or even go when they get aressted But does anyone know some of the forensics they use in the show are accutrate if so like what becasue i once saw nick pick up a beer bottle with a pencil which i know use must never do due to risk of contamination
Why didn't Nick have his gloves on? He's a naughty boy.
I think they use the right principles of forensic science, they just speed it all up.
^^ They have to bend the rules/RL when interviewing suspects so they don't have to bring in a whole new team (it named CSI after all) But I suppose thats what the Detectives are for.
Actually, the pencil in the beer bottle trick could have been a good example of a proper evidence collection technique ... IF the bottle was collected only for the possibility of latent prints deposited on the outer surface by a suspect or victim. And, ironically, it is possible to leave latent prints (impression-type, on a thinly oily surface) when wearing certain types of thin plastic gloves.
Note: as a general rule, it's considered unethical in the forensic science profession for an investigator (defined as a law enforcement officer responsible for tracking down and arresting the bad guy) to conduct forensic examinations of evidence. Essentially, the investigator would be confirming his own (potentially emotional) theories re the suspect and the evidence, something that should be done by an independent (unemotional and unbiased) forensic scientist.
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