By Kevin Stoda, social scientist and educator
I enjoy the various CSI series(es) immensely but we viewers must remember that--like the other CBS-TV series, Numbers, --are largely fictional in what they portrays as the real world of investigation, law, order, and justice in America is totally under-funded agencies (personnel) or filled with bullies, ill-equipped, and incompetents. In short, our non-fiction is still sadly too often the realm of false arrests and bad policing (or investigating) in America. Potential Jurors absolutely need to note this.
I have been watching a lot of CSI reruns this summer. I watch them all currently on AXN-TV. I have seen CSI: Miami,
and the original CSI set in Las Vegas.
I also watch NCSI, which is a Navy spin-off of the other CSI and earlier JAG TV series
I enjoy these various series(es) immensely but we viewers must remember that--like the other CBS-TV series, Numbers,
--are largely fictional in what they portrays as the real world of investigation, law, order, and justice in America.
WARNING TO VIEWERS
As we watch the TV programs, we see that mistakes are made but we often see that the investigators typically recover from false leads, false assumptions, and even faulty evidence or diagnostics of the crime scene.
EXAMPLE OF NON-RELIABILITY OF HAIR SAMPLING
One of the common examples of evidence used (or misused) in TV investigations of a crime has been the finding of and usage of hair samples to determine if someone was present at a crime scene.
"Hair evidence is one of the most common types of evidence encountered in criminal investigations. During the course of the normal hair-growth cycle, hairs are readily lost from individuals, and these hairs may be transferred during the course of a criminal activity."