Anyone charged with a crime in Texas deserves a fair trial. Unfortunately, factors that have nothing to do with actual proof in court can affect the outcome of a criminal defense case.
The “CSI effect” of media on criminal justice
Streaming services have become a major part of national media consumption, and many people love true crime programming. Sensationalist programming combined with round-the-clock news coverage has been influencing how people – and prospective jurors – view criminal trials and their opinion of those who have been accused. These TV dramas paint an unrealistic picture of how the justice system works.
Experts sometimes refer to this distorted view of criminal justice as the “CSI effect,” based on the popular program. This and widespread media coverage often makes it more difficult for people who are accused of crimes to get fair trials.
Will you get a fair trial if you are accused of a crime in Texas?
TV shows and news coverage can negatively influences public perception of a case. A prospective juror who watches TV or listens to the news may be unable to treat those accused of crimes the benefit of a doubt. Your criminal defense attorney may be able to exclude jurors in your trial based on previous knowledge of your case and opinions they have before ever hearing the facts, but there may be hidden biases.
On the other side of the equation, true crime programming can positively affect some cases by bringing them to public attention. This type of analysis can also point out factors and trends, such as discrimination and bias in the justice system. If presented correctly, this type of content may help give a voice to the underrepresented.
No matter your situation, if you have been charged with a crime, don’t go to court alone. Have someone who knows what they are doing help you, so you can get a fair trial.