It’s called the CSI effect. Thanks to “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and its sister shows, jurors now expect forensic evidence so exact, so complete and so quickly available that they will be told with certainty all the facts of any crime scene.
A new exhibition at the National Library of Medicine, titled “Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body,” serves as a pointed reality check. The exhibit, located on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., details the history and science of forensic medicine, a branch of science that interprets the facts in civil or criminal law cases, particularly when a death is suspicious or unexplained. There is very little here that could be wrapped up in an hour of television drama.
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