Jennie Odom

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Forensics BS


Criminal Justice

Third Advisor

Lisa S. Nored, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Criminal Justice


The “CSI Effect” suggests that a growing number of jurors often have unrealistic expectations concerning the amount of forensic evidence which should be reasonably presented to convict an alleged criminal, and this misconception arises from watching heavily dramatized crime shows such as the CSI franchise. While many scholars have examined the CSI Effect, one critical perspective is often missing from the existing literature, that of the lawyers. Therefore, this project worked to explore the perspectives of both defense attorneys and prosecutors. Personal interviews were conducted to gain insight and perspective regarding the CSI Effect, whether these perspectives had impacted the way they performed, and whether any differences emerged among the two legal sides of the American legal system. While both groups believed in the existence of the CSI Effect, defense attorneys often had differing viewpoints from each other while prosecutorial responses were internally consistent. Both groups emphasized the need for increased funding of state crime laboratories and the importance of voir dire questions during jury selection to mitigate the CSI Effect. Given the limited number of participants in the current project, more examination of these perspectives is warranted for more complete understanding.

Keywords: CSI, CSI Effect, prosecution, prosecutor, defense attorney, crime laboratories