Conferences & Symposia

The CSI Effect on Criminal Prosecutions: Truth or Fiction?


Thursday, September 14, 2006

"CSI," short for Crime Scene Investigation, is a top-rated television show on CBS whose popularity has spawned two spin-offs as well as similar shows on other television networks. In a classic example of the blurring of fiction and reality, some criminal prosecutors and academics now claim that these shows are adversely affecting prosecutions nationwide. Click here to read the recent Daily Record article.

The argument is that exposure to these television shows generates expectations about the availability and importance of forensic evidence in establishing guilt or innocence, and jurors who are fans of these programs enter the courtroom with these expectations. Not everyone agrees that there is a "CSI Effect," and even those who believe it exists disagree about whether the "CSI Effect" is a good or bad thing in criminal trials.

As part of its "Linking Law and Arts" initiative, the University of Maryland School of Law is hosting a discussion on the effect of these programs, what Maryland prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys are doing to combat jurors' expectations, and the pitfalls of over-reliance on forensic evidence.

RSVP for this event, free and open to the public, here.


PROGRAM SCHEDULE

2 p.m. - Introduction and Welcome
Taunya Lovell Banks, JD
Jacob A. France Professor of Equality Jurisprudence and
Francis & Harriet Inglehart Research Professor of Law
University of Maryland School of Law


2:15 p.m. - Panel Discussion
Is there a "CSI Effect?" If so, does it operate in favor of the defense or the state?


Moderator:
Andy Levy, Esq.
Partner
Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP

The Prosecution
Paul W. O'Connor, Esq.
Office of the State's Attorney
Baltimore, MD

The Defense
Kenneth W. Ravenell, Esq.
Partner
Schulman, Treem, Kaminkow, Gilden & Ravenell, P.A.

The Empirical Evidence
Diane Hoffmann, JD
Associate Dean for Academic Programs,
Director of the Law & Health Care Program and Professor of Law
University of Maryland School of Law


4 p.m. - Panel Discussion
Are there pitfalls in relying on forensic evidence in proving guilt or innocence?

Moderator:
Renee Hutchins
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Maryland School of Law

The Forensic Specialist
Robert T.M. Phillips, MD, PhD
Medical Director, Forensic Consultation Associates, Inc.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of Law

The Forensic Pathologist
Dr. Mary Ripple
Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

The Judge
The Honorable Paul W. Grimm
Chief Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of Law


5:30 p.m. - Reception in the Atrium


This program is funded in part by a generous grant from the France-Merrick Foundation to the University of Maryland School of Law's Linking Law & the Arts Series.


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved