CSI Obsession

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

It's exciting, you watch a crime happen, see investigators gather evidence, then lawyers try the case, and it ends with a conviction and all in an hour!

CSI’s compelling plots draw millions of viewers every Thursday night, but some viewers are confusing the fiction of the show with reality. District Attorney Doug Valeska says, "What you see on TV is Hollywood" this is the problem attorneys are facing each time they go to court, convincing jurors that the evidence they will be shown may not be as convincing as CSI’s, but that doesn't mean the person is not guilty.

Valeska explains, "If you've got an opinion like I saw that on CSI and I wasn't convinced cause you don't have the same evidence, then the bottom line is some guilty person goes free."

CSI is filled with amazing equipment, developed by top companies. There are many people working one case, as opposed to the realistic two or three, and the timeline for solving serious crimes is far off base, but the biggest difference is simple. Houston County Operations Manager Don McMullon says, "Unfortunately Houston County Sheriff's Department dos not have a budget for equipment like CSI, financed by huge media giants."

With better, faster equipment, crimes could be solved more quickly, but for now realistically it takes time to get results back. McMullon says, "When we get prints, we send them to the ABI i in Montgomery and it usually takes six to eight months to get them back if they are fixed, otherwise it could take up to two to three years."

So when you're watching this show kicked back on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, just remember the next time you get called to jury duty that the state only has to prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, regardless of the type of evidence presented.

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