What do you think a jury's verdict is but a collective OPINION on the validity and weight of constellations of facts/evidence (including testimony) touching on a criminal case?!?!?!?!?!?!?A jury's verdict, of course, is NOT a "collective opinion." It is a FINDING. The jury selection process is an attempt to get rid of any potential jurors who might have opinions about the case before they are admitted to the jury. During the trial, the jury first listens to the prosecution present their evidence intended to show that the defendant is guilty of the crime for which he or she is charged, and then the defense presents their arguments intended to show that the evidence presented by the prosecution is not conclusive. The jury is supposed to listen to both sides of the argument, then they go into a room where they are supposed to discuss the evidence to reach an agreed upon "finding" as to whether the prosecution's case was proven or not proven. If they cannot unanimously agree one way or the other, then the process starts all over again with a new trial.
Also interestingly, R. Rowley argued this:
What do you think the Henry Fonda character was trying to do in TWELVE ANGRY MEN but change the opinions of those 11 other jurors?!?!?!?The screenplay for "12 Angry Men" is on-line HERE, and it shows that all the Henry Fonda character ("Juror No. 8") wants to do was what they are supposed to do in the jury room: discuss the case and the evidence.
And, gradually, that is what they start to do.
In concept, all the jurors can still have the opinion that the defendant is guilty and yet agree that the prosecution's case is "not proven." If all the jurors feel that way, the "finding" or "verdict" must be "Not guilty due to insufficient evidence." In doing so, they do NOT decide that the defendant is "innocent." They merely decide that there is "reasonable doubt" about his guilt.
The jury deliberation process is intended to settle all misunderstandings. If a juror explains why he thinks the evidence says the defendant is guilty or not proven guilty, the other jurors will supposedly explain how they view the same evidence differently. Gradually, though explaining how they view the evidence, they are all supposed to agree on the "correct" way to view the evidence.
In "12 Angry Men," for example, some jurors saw the eye-witness testimony as being conclusive. But then someone pointed out that the eye witness saw the crime from her bed in the middle of the night. And then his conversation takes place between the jurors:
FOREMAN: Wait a minute! Did she wear glasses at all? I don't remember.
NO. 11: (excited). Of course she did! The woman wore bifocals. I remember this very clearly. They looked quite strong.
NO. 9: That's right. Bifocals. She never took them off.
NO. 4: She did wear glasses. Funny. I never thought of it.
NO. 8: Listen, she wasn't wearing them in bed. That's for sure. She testified that in the midst of her tossing and turning she rolled over and looked casually out the window. The murder was taking place as she looked out, and the lights went out a split second later. She couldn't have had time to put on her glasses. Now maybe she honestly thought she saw the boy kill his father. I say that she saw only a blur.
NO. 3: How do you know what she saw? Maybe she's far-sighted.
[He looks around. No one answers.]
NO. 3: (loudly). How does he know all these things?
[There is silence.]
NO. 8: Does anyone think there still is not a reasonable doubt?Minds were changed by looking at the evidence. However, no one argued that the defendant was "innocent." All they did by discussing the evidence was determine that the prosecution's case was not sufficient to eliminate "reasonable doubt." The final verdict was "Not guilty due to insufficient evidence."
The people who argue that they do not believe Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer refuse to discuss the evidence with people who feel the evidence says Ivins was the killer. I've been trying to get them to discuss the evidence for years, but to no avail. They even state that there is "no evidence" to discuss. It appears that, by denying the very existence of evidence showing Ivins to be guilty, they feel they can never be put in a position of having to discuss the evidence. And if they don't discuss the evidence, they can never be shown to be wrong in their beliefs.
When R. Rowley is show to be wrong on other matters, like the law or the definition of words, he becomes "hypercorrective" and endlessly argues that his interpretation is the only correct interpretation.
When DXer is shown to be wrong about other matters, he argues that I am not an official "expert" on the subject, and therefore my view is of no value no matter how much evidence I may have. When experts disagree with him, he finds something in their background to dismiss their views (right or wrong) as worthless. He argues that presenting facts and evidence is no different from arguing what is "possible." Nothing but what DXer believes means anything to him.