From "The Plain-Language Law Dictionary," here are legal definitions of "evidence" and "fact":
evidence. Everything that is brought into court in a trial in an attempt to prove or disprove alleged facts. Evidence includes the introduction of exhibits, records, documents, objects, etcetera, plus testimony of witnesses, for the purpose of proving one's case. The jury or judge considers the evidence and decides in favor of one party or the other.
fact. Something that took place; an act; something actual and real; an incident that occurred; an event.DISCUSSION:
In the Bruce Ivins case, the evidence showing him to be guilty of the anthrax attacks of 2001 consisted of a long list of facts, records and testimony related to the crime, which when viewed in their entirety would almost certainly have convicted him of that crime in court.
Example of one fact that is PART of the evidence against Ivins:
Dr. Ivins had no verifiable alibi for the times of the mailings.Naysayers might argue that Ivins cannot be expected to remember what he was doing seven years before he was arrested. That doesn't change the FACT that Ivins had no verifiable alibi.
Naysayers might argue that a lot of other people may also have had no alibi for the times of the mailings. That also doesn't change the FACT that Ivins had no verifiable alibi.
The FACT that Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins had no verifiable alibi is valid "evidence" and would be used in court to help show that he was guilty of the anthrax attacks of 2001.
Some other facts which could be used as evidence in court to help prove the prosecution's case against Bruce Ivins:
The FACT that Ivins was in charge of flask RMR-1029 (the "murder weapon") would be used in court to help show that Ivins was guilty.
The FACT that Ivins worked alone and unsupervised in his lab at the time the attack spores were presumably made would be used in court to help show that Ivins was guilty.
The FACT that Ivins could not explain why he was working extraordinary hours alone in his lab at the time the attack spores were presumably made would be used in court to help show that Ivins was guilty.
The FACT that Ivins was a diagnosed sociopath would be used in court to help show that Ivins was guilty.
Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.
If the jury had been able to hear all these facts presented as evidence against Dr. Ivins, it seems very reasonable to conclude that he would have been found guity beyond a reasonable doubt.
"FACTS" AND "EVIDENCE" FROM CONSPIRACY THEORISTS:
Conspiracy theorists argue in favor of their own theories, using what they consider to be "facts" and "evidence." Often their "facts" are not facts, they are only opinions. Often their "evidence" would not be allowed in court, since doesn't help prove anything.
1. Example from "DXer" (summarized from HERE):
It is a fact that the so-called "J-Lo" letter sent to the Sun magazine was reportedly "a business-size sheet of stationery decorated with pink and blue clouds around the edges."However, it is NOT a "fact" that the J-Lo letter contained anthrax, nor is it a "fact" that the J-Lo letter had anything whatsoever to do with the anthrax attacks. It is just an opinion that the J-Lo letter "most likely" contained anthrax. So, we have an opinion begin put together with an irrelevant fact to create a meaningless combination of facts. It is not "evidence," since it does not help to prove anything.
It is presumably a "fact" that "The Clouds" was code name used by al Qaeda for a Media Operations Director.
2. Example from "DXer" (summarized from HERE):
The ink used on the pre-stamped anthrax envelopes is green and the design is an American Eagle. In Muslim mythology, green birds take the souls of martyrs to paradise.It is a fact that the stamp was printed in blue-green color, and that it is of a "bird." It may be a fact that green birds figure in Muslim mythology. But these two "facts" do NOT connect Muslims to the anthrax letters. Since the same stamps were used on millions of other letters, neither fact directly relates to the anthrax mailings. Both appear to be irrelevant facts which are being put together to create a meaningless combination of facts.
3. Example from R. Rowley (summarized from HERE):
In Mr. Rowley's opinion, the letter G in the word "GREAT" in the media anthrax letters resembles the letter "Tet" in the cursive version of the Hebrew character set.
It is not a fact, it is just Mr. Rowley's opinion. And it would therefore not be allowed in court unless (1) the matter could be shown to help prove something in a legal case, and (2) Mr. Rowley could be certified to be an "expert witness" capable of presenting this to a jury as a factual finding.
In summary, the "facts" and "evidence" from conspiracy theorists are mostly just opinions. Some are irrelevant facts that are arbitrarily put together to create an argument, but do not directly relate to the issue of who sent the anthrax letters.
The case against Bruce Ivins is a legal case that could be tried in court. The cases argued by conspiracy theorists are opinions and beliefs that would never be allowed in court.