Forensics in Popular Culture

Television shows like CSI and Law And Order have been watched by millions for decades. Forensics are portrayed as state of the art, top scientist and highly staffed but this is far from reality. this has created what is known as the CSI effect. Jurors think there are vast amounts of forensic evidence when that is not always the case. Police have since started to collect more forensic evidence due to this. This popularity has also increased the number of people studying in forensic fields. Labs are often overburdened and lack state of the art technologies (Houck, 85).

Daubert v Merrel Dow Pharmaceuticals established criteria for evidence collect that is applied to all forensic fields. for evidence to be used in courts the evidence must be testable, have a known error rate, be peer reviewed, and accepted by the community who use the technique. The courts expect there to be evidence in most cases. Although evidence is not always present, the evidence collected must be as accurate as possible. Forensic entomologists have created a framework to adhere to the criteria required. Knowledge of specific species, environmental factors and individual factors with a body and its decomposition are just a few things scientists are factoring into their work when determining time of death.

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