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12 Angry Men

Essay by review  •  September 4, 2010  •  Essay  •  719 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,169 Views

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In all criminal cases presented in the courts of the United States, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The law requires the jury to release the defendant unless it is fully convinced of the defendant's guilt. Many times it may be difficult for a jury to come to such a significant conclusion. This is clearly evident in the movie 12 Angry Men. At first, each juror is convinced of his verdict except one. Yet of those who are convinced that the boy on trial is guilty, all change their vote except one.

A precise example of this would be a comparison between Juror 3 and Juror 6. Both jurors have heard the same case and have studied the same evidence. Yet of the two, Juror 3 does not understand why anyone would consider the defendant not guilty. By taking a closer look at this character one may be able to understand why he seems to have no compassion towards the young boy.

At first, Juror 3 appears to be a successful businessman who owns a messenger service. Yet as time goes on, one may see him as a sour and unhappy man. He wants to base the case solely on the evidence presented at the trial. Throughout the meeting in the jury room, Juror 3 disregards all other evidence brought up by Juror 8 and the others. He says that the evidence revealed may not be accurate or true. Therefore, it should not be taken into consideration.

As time goes on he becomes more and more passionate and seems to be somehow personally involved with the case. At one point, he tells the other jurors about an argument between him and his son. Juror 3 and his son had an argument which made his son run away. When his son returned to apologize, Juror 3 hit him for leaving the first time thus leading him to run away once more. He has not seen his son in two years and this has left him somewhat bitter inside. His anger toward his supposed ungrateful son is projected toward the young man on trial. Juror 3 has no concern for the life of the defendant. He makes it clear that he would have been an executioner and would have pulled the switch on the boy himself. His personal troubles have imposed on his ability to come to a verdict. In the movie, he exemplifies how hidden anger and a resentful attitude can obscure the truth.

On the contrary, Juror 6 tries to carefully study the case and come to a conclusion based on as much evidence as possible. Although he is convinced from the beginning, he is open-minded and believes

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