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Pa. conference to take on the 'CSI effect'

By Michael A. Fuoco
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH — So popular is CBS's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and other similar procedural shows that their impact has morphed from purely fictional entertainment to real-life crime and punishment.

Prosecutors in the nation's courts daily must battle the so-called "CSI effect" -- the phenomenon that has raised the expectations of crime victims and juries about the power of forensic science in solving crimes. The expectation now is that real-life crime scene analysts should always be able to find the proverbial smoking gun even though, in real life, forensic evidence always isn't present or as clear as it is on TV.

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