CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ohio Judge Tries to Fight CSI Effect

From Jurors in Butler County, Ohio Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney's courtroom have limited television viewing choices until the verdict is in. In fact, the Disney Channel may be the best bet.

For nearly a decade, judges, prosecutors and detectives have been experiencing the "CSI blowback" in local courtrooms. This has created an unrealistic expectation of what can and cannot be done with evidence in the minds of jurors, said Oney, who was a defense attorney before donning the black robe.

Oney has upped her standard instruction for jurors. Media coverage of the case is a given and routine instruction for judges, but she also has a list of fictional viewing "no-nos."

"So many shows now are pulled in part from cases all over the country," Oney said. "I don't want jurors watching them while they are in deliberation."

Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said seminars in "dealing with the 'CSI' effect" are common in training conferences for attorneys, and last week before a murder case, Assistant Prosecutor Jason Phillabaum said "CSI" is to forensics as "Star Trek" is to space travel. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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