Is ‘CSI’ Affecting Verdicts?

The article (picked up by numerous papers) Chicago Tribune | The Blake verdict and the ‘CSI effect’ is an interesting one. Well worth reading if, like me, you haven’t bothered to follow yet another celebrity trial.
The part I particularly want to point out as a passage is this:

“Prosecutors across the country are very concerned about this.” Marquis found it disturbing that Blake jurors “seemed very dismissive of circumstantial evidence,” he said. “Well guess what? In most cases . . . you don’t have physical evidence.”

Um, then you shouldn’t be getting a conviction. There are reasons why “beyond reasonable doubt” is enshrined in law as a protection against taking away someone’s freedom. If you have proof that they did it, present it. They should go to jail and in all likelihood will do so. If all you have is circumstantial evidence then they may well get off… and they should.
I wasn’t there at the crime scene. Neither were you. If the evidence given by the people who were there and the physical evidence are together not conclusive, you have to err on the side of innocence. Just because all the prosecutors “feel it in their gut” and the family has latched onto someone to blame just to have a focus for their anger, doesn’t make it so.

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