Prosecutor: 'It's not a CSI world'

Cary Ashby
Mar 29, 2010


Who would have thought one of my favorite shows would have been a topic of conversation during a Huron County drug trial this week?


It shouldn't surprise you; there have been AP stories about the "CSI effect" — in which people believe the way investigators process, analyze and present evidence in the CBS show is possible or is actually reality.


Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff warned a local jury about the "CSI effect" in his opening statement and closing arguments. (Read my coverage of Thursday's testimony. Check back at for the verdict.)


"This is not 'CSI.' If this were 'CSI,' everything would be crystal clear," Woodruff said Thursday.


The prosecutor, whose specialty is drug cases, addressed it again during his closing arguments early Friday afternoon. Woodruff called it "remarkable" how often the public say in polls and interviews they believe in the "CSI effect."


"If this were 'CSI,' we'd have a crystal clear tape," he said, referring to the digital recording of a suspected drug transaction. "On 'CSI,' you could hear every single word that Heather Ruffin and Martin Garcia would say." "They'd have a fingertip on everything," Woodruff told jurors. "It's not a 'CSI' world."


Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Todd Temple rated the audio recording as "an average tape." Ruffin, the informant, carried the small device in the pocket of her pants.


Now, the fun part. It's your turn: What are your opinions on the "CSI effect"?


You're probably wondering why I didn't review Thursday's show. It's simple: I didn't watch it because I got back too late from a prior obligation — but I did tape it. I hope to watch it sometime this weekend and blog about it Monday. Stay tuned.



If my child had been in class when Rep. Barrett accidentally showed his girlfriend's naked picture to the class, I would join a class action lawsuit to fully disclose what really happened and make amends to the school and the students.
The man is disgusting. He was not man enough to take the blame for the image, instead he blamed it on his son. I am very glad he resigned. We don't need more politicians that think they are above local laws, lie and with low moral standards. Barrett should make restitution to the school, the students, the tax payers for the expense of the investigation. He needs court ordered therapy and family counciling.