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38 Law & Psychol. Rev. 97 (2014)
Ripped from the Headlines: Juror Perceptions in the Law and Order Era

handle is hein.journals/lpsyr38 and id is 107 raw text is: RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES:

Adam B. Shniderman*
Film and Media Studies scholars have long claimed that television is a
primary source of information about the criminal justice system for most
Americans. These scholars have also found that television can significantly
impact viewers' perceptions of the world. In the last decade, Jerry
Bruckheimer's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has been the subject of
significant scrutiny. Many have claimed that CSI's highly dramatized,
romanticized, and generally unrealistic portrayal of forensic science and
the investigative process has significantly altered juror expectations, and
this portrayal poses a challenge for lawyers trying criminal cases. The
concept has been discussed in nearly 400 news articles and more than 100
academic journal articles. Despite all of this attention paid to CSI, the
impact of Law & Order on jurors' perceptions of the criminal justice
system has been largely overlooked.
This article analyzes the dominant narrative in the Law & Order
franchise, demonstrating that the show is rooted in Packer's crime-control
model. The article discusses the various techniques the Law & Order
franchise employs to construct that narrative and to shape our views
through the use of basic psychological principles, detailed character
backstories, casting choices for various characters, and dialogue and
specific plot events. The article considers the potential impact of this
narrative on peoples', and particularly jurors', perceptions of various
aspects of criminal investigations and the justice system, including
interrogation techniques, eyewitness identification and lineup procedures,
and the presumption of innocence. Finally, the article makes suggestions
forfuture research.

* Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Texas Christian University (Starting Fall 2014).
Ph.D. Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine; M.A. University of
California, Irvine; B.A. Amherst College.

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