Media has severely impacted our understanding of criminal investigation to our detriment. In typical shows like CSI and Law and Order, the evidence is typically readily available and results in a neatly-packaged result, and the criminal is captured.
So often, these shows overlook the time it takes to get everything tested (DNA tests, fiber comparison, paint tests, etc), which can span weeks or months. It also glosses over the fact that, many times, the criminal gets away with the crime because they are never suspected, there is insufficient evidence, or the defense has made a solid enough case that the individual doesn't get sent to jail.
The justice system is far more complex, and these proceedings take far more time than is portrayed in these shows, even if the culprit is apprehended immediately....
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