Robert blake an american actor who starred in the

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Robert Blake, an American actor who starred in the television series Baretta and in the 1960s film In Cold Blood, was accused of killing his wife. In his murder trial, the jury voted to acquit him. The question of the CSI Effect was raised in his acquittal. His alibi was that he “left his gun in the car,” and when he went to collect it, he found his wife with a bullet in her head. There was also a sworn testimony that Blake had tried to hire someone to kill his wife and openly discussed having her killed. The prosecution felt that even though the physical evidence was lacking, the witness testimony and the odd behavior of Blake himself was enough. Jury foreman Thomas Nicholson explained “They couldn’t put the gun in his hand…There was no blood spatter, they had nothing” (Wojdacz 2009, n.p.). Nothing except the “big picture.” The jury needed hard evidence. Due to the lack of the gun shot residue and blood on his clothes, the juryacquitted him. The Los Angeles district attorney in charge of prosecuting him called the jurors “incredibly stupid” (Wojdacz 2009). Eight months after being acquitted, Blake was found guilty in a civil trial of intentionally causing his wife’s death. The district attorney firmly believes that the CSI Effect was involved in the jury’s decision to acquit Blake. 9
ConclusionsWatching crime scene television shows clearly correlates with effects on jury trials as well as thegeneral public. The CSI Effect demonstrates a negative outcome in almost all areas of criminal law. As the popularity of television crime shows increases, the CSI Effect will only get worse. Theneed for scientific evidence will continue to progress and the means to find it will only become greater. This will continue to put pressure on the prosecution, law enforcement and crime labs. Not to mention, it will become more costly and time consuming than it already is. Courtrooms will have to incorporate more time into finding a jury if they want a fair trial. Not only that, but teach jurors how crime scene investigation works and the time and effort it takes to find such scientific evidence they call for. Also explain what technology is used and why some findings aren’t presented in court. Law enforcement agencies and crime labs will have to find ways to collect more evidence and process it thoroughly in a timely manner. This would require more technology, which would get expensive. Unfortunately, when it comes to the effect on the criminal mind, there are not steps to prevent this. Some people just naturally have criminal intentions and will act as they please. If criminals follow procedures they see on television, hopefully they will be more likely to make a mistake. There are still the minor positives of the CSI Effect, but they in no way counterbalance the negatives. The biggest positive could be the increasing number of students becoming interested in criminal investigation work. If there are more people that want jobs in the forensic science field, it could help with the backlog of evidence as more people want to work on it, which will overall make things faster and aid in jurytrials. The negatives will always prevail the positives, which is shown through the case studies.

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