The Criminal Justice System and Television

The Criminal Justice 2The Criminal Justice System and TelevisionTelevision in today’s society is mainly focused around crime and violence. This subject matter seems to get the attention of many audience viewers whether it is a docu-drama or real life investigations about serial killers. Some of the shows that I enjoy watching that involve crime include Cops, Forensic Files, and Medium, which is a docu-drama on NBC. While watching these shows on many different occasions, I have realized that some do follow the criminal justice system while others don’t Cops

COPS has been on television since 1989. It is one of the first series to show exactly what goes on in a police officers life while he is on duty. It amazes me how realistic the show is compared to what I have learned in class. Many of times, I have heard officers state the Miranda rights to the suspects that they arrest. On COPS however, the person that is being video taped is usually not the first officer at the scene of the crime. Therefore, he does have a right to question the suspects to see what happened and how the crime occurred for public safety considerations.

Another topic that we have discussed in class is warrants. A lot of times, the officers have an arrest warrant so they basically go up to the criminal and arrest them without having to tell them why they are being arrested. I feel that COPS shows law enforcement in a positive way and depicts the criminal justice system perfectly. Forensic Files

Forensic Files is different from COPS in that it is a reenactment of a crime that had to be investigated to solve. The show is based on solving crimes with the evidence The Criminal Justice 3 that was left by the criminal. Many of the crimes are very brutal and the criminals usually have a motive for committing the crime. Usually when you are watching docu-dramas, they depict solving crimes at a fast pace.

This show however shows a realistic time frame in solving crimes. Some crimes aren’t solved for years while others take a couple months but usually never take a couple days to solve a well thought out crime. Even though the show is a reenactment, I still feel that it shows our criminal justice system in the correct manner. Vanished

Vanished is a new docu-drama that airs on FOX Monday nights. It is about the Senator’s wife getting kidnapped or basically “vanishing” from society. The show draws many audience members due to the fact that it always has you on the edge of your seat through out the entire show. There are many investigators involved in helping find the Senator’s wife. The show makes it seem like it is easy to put two and two together to get to the next step in order to solve the crime. Unfortunately in real life, I find that hard to believe.

A case like this is very well thought out by the criminals and I feel that a crime like this wouldn’t even be committed because it is so in depth and unrealistic. It does make for good television though and gives the audience what they want, which is excitement and suspense. It is a great show to watch, but I wouldn’t compare it to our criminal justice system today because you might get disappointed in what you find. Conclusion

Many prime time shows today, involve some topic of the criminal justice system. Whether it be Vanished or CSI: Miami, they all depict crime in a different light than what The Criminal Justice 4

real life crime is. These are not fair representations of criminal justice because it is not what really happens. There are also shows that prove to be true like COPS and Forensic Files and these are the shows that do show fair representations of criminal justice. Crime will always be the prime-time event whether it’s a docu-drama or a real life incident because it will always have the audience on their toes.