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Criminal Justice System Television Shows

The show's opening voiceover proclaims, 'In the Criminal Justice System, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, either by confession, plea bargain, or trial by jury' (Trial, 2005, p. 1). However, in this show, the prosecutors and defense attorneys spend all their time bartering with each other and jeopardizing already fragile victims in order to win the sentence that most favors their side, regardless of the guilt or innocence of the defendants in a number of cases.

In sum, those the proliferation of new shows about criminal justice often show the police, courts, and correctional components of the criminal justice system, this view is often skewed and only somewhat based on real-world realities in the criminal justice system. However, many viewers seem to confuse real criminal justice with the 'entertainment' versions of it shown on television.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Viewed on May 2, 2005: http: //, 1-2.

Law and Order: Trial by Jury. Viewed on May 2, 2005: http://www., 1-2.

Mirsky, S. (2005, May). Crime scene investigation: TV superscientists affect real courts, campuses and criminals. Scientific American, 1-3.


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