Jurors are supposed to return their verdict based on the evidence heard in court and nothing else. They weigh what each witness said and the evidence they saw, and coalesce toward a unanimous understanding of what “the truth” is in their case. Readers may be surprised to learn, indeed, that many things that took place in the jury room in the movie “12 Angry Men”– especially that dramatic scene where Henry Fonda sticks a knife in the table – might constitute jury misconduct.
So when jurors in Georgia used a toy car and coffee cup to illustrate and understand the car accident at the center of their case, the defendant they convicted cried foul. Never mind that the actions he got convicted for were the death of a fellow driver while the defendant was driving recklessly, high on booze and cocaine. The toy car, he said, trumps all.
Fear not, it didn’t.