Generally, crime and law enforcement television programs have been tremendously popular, with constantly elevated ratings over time. More than a quarter of all prime time shows from the 1960s to the 1990s have centred on subjects of crime or criminal justice, which comprise the biggest single subject matter on television today, across all types of programming (Weigel and Jessor, 1999). Drawing on Carlson's (2001) review of the literature, we observe that these studies have characteristically enclosed five main interconnected areas: knowledge of and information on the system, compliance, rights, police images, and violence and victimization. Every substantive part listed above can offer guidance in expanding a complete research program centring on television imagery and public insights of the criminal justice system.
As realized, the criminal justice system has been utilized as entertainment for a while. It all started with ‘America’s most wanted ' that once featured John Walsh in search of lost children and renegades from justice. The program merged accurate details with a theatrical description of the crime in question. Not merely was the program educational, but it was enjoyable as well. In 1989, entertainment aspect of Criminal justice as continued with the debut of ``COPS, a program that pursued police officers throughout their shift and exhibited how they hunted down wrongdoers, pursued them if needed and apprehended them. At present, there are numerous fact-oriented shows on the TV, and each describes a different aspect of the criminal justice system.
One example focused on this paper is American Justice. The program ``American Justice ' entails outrageous crimes, as perceived through police process, the court procedure, and via an outline of the perpetrators. While the program demonstrates a thespian view of the criminal justice system, it exhibits a precise explanation of how the police force and the courts set off from an unexplained crime to a conviction. In one episode titled ‘Thrill Killers”, two individuals, Joshua Ford and Genie Crutchley, went missing from their beachside hotel room. Other two suspects Benjamin and Erica Sifrit, described as a young married couple, were apprehended on charges of burglary when they allegedly endeavoured to rob a Hooter’s souvenir shop. Discovered among their ownerships were Ford and Crutchley’s wallets and other unique pieces. Ahead of investigating the Sifrit’s correlation to the duo’s vanishing, police determined that the Sifrits had executed them prior to maiming their bodies and discarding them in a trash dumpster. There was no solid grounds following the murders therefore it was purely a thrill killing on the section of the Sifrits, a consequence of an increasing blueprint of wild and precarious behaviour. Benjamin Sifrit was sentenced on second-degree murder for Crutchley’s murder, however was not sentenced on Ford’s murder. His partner, Erica Sifrit, was awarded the second-degree murder of Crutchley and the first-degree murder of Ford. Both are appealing their convictions.
The ``American Justice ' episode on ``Thrill Killers ' underlines both the police search and trial aspect of the criminal justice system. The police research was exhibited by opening with the victims and their vanishing from their hotel room. After offering a brief depiction of the vacationing couple, the program made the correlation to the Sifrits by presenting how randomly the couple was caught. Once the offenders were established with the possession of victims ' effects, the police were capable of making numerous correlations to the victims. The next element of the investigation engaged using Erica against her husband .After being presented a deal; she provided the police information that resulted in the detection of body parts. A bullet wound established on Ford was sufficient to attach Erica to the murders with no additional admissions (Mann and Williamson, 2006). The court process began when the couple was arraigned and denied bail for their part in Ford’s and Crutchley’s disappearances. With the overwhelming evidence, both were convicted for the murders.
The current situation in the United States is one of a social structure undergoing comparatively fast change in a number of areas in which information of the criminal justice system is a noteworthy subject. I suggest that we employ television programs to find out public images of the criminal justice system itself and to verify how those images may or may not influence public perceptions, learning, and fundamental knowledge of the system and its procedure. Furthermore, we can contrast those images and insights with realism sequentially to donate to our perceptive of the law and society relationship.
This does not automatically denote, at the present, an ideal mapping of television depictions onto public discernments, or that the two are completely coupled, dependent on what those depictions are compared with other sources of information. Conversely, we might anticipate discovering a relative match and a mounting amount of influence on public knowledge. Ever rising levels of television presentation by the "postmodern" person may lead to more television-described public insights of criminal justice and law enforcement. While the correctness of these perceptions is one more issue, it is also a particularly imperative one because an escalating number of social scientists dispute that the legal system may operate best when citizens are not knowledgeable about or interested in its procedure (Sarat, 1975). as well as being independently attractive and evocative, the influence of reality shows like American Justice, predominantly in terms of their interactive assessment, can guide to a somewhat diverse and convincing investigation of the association between law and society, with significant hypothetical and experiential insinuations for connected cultural, political, and criminal justice studies in general.
Carlson, J.M. (2001). Prime time law enforcement. New York: Praeger.
Mann, R., and Williamson, M. (2006). Forensic Detective: How I Cracked the World's Toughest Cases. Balanchine Books
Sarat, A. (1975). "Support for the Legal System." American Political Quarterly, 33-24
TV.com “Thrill Killers” American Justice retrieved from www.TV.com
Weigel, R. H., and Jessor, R. (1999). "Television and adolescent conventionality: An exploratory study." Public Opinion Quarterly, 3779-90.