12 Angry Men Response
The 1957 film, “12 Angry Men,” directed by Sidney Lumet tells the story of twelve jurors who are chosen to sit in on an eighteen year old boy’s trial. These men must decide whether or not the boy is guilty or not of stabbing his father in the chest and killing him. They have the boy’s life in their hands and need to come up with a verdict of either to send him to the chair or let him free. Throughout the movie they take various votes, the first one had the count of 11-1 with guilty being the dominant choice.
Juror 8, played by Henry Fonda, was an architect named Davis and the only one to vote towards not guilty. When questioned as to if he really believes that the boy is innocent he simply responded “I don’t know.” Davis felt that if they have the boy’s life in their hands then the least they could do is talk about it for an hour. Davis’s claim was that he had reasonable doubt about whether or not the boy actually killed his father. There were many little things that they overlooked in the cross-examination and Davis said “if I were him I would have asked for a new lawyer.” By voting not guilty, and presenting his reasoning, Davis was able to get the jury to take a look at the evidence once again with a fine-toothed comb.
In order to provide a valid argument, Davis needed to show the jury the grounds under which he believed the evidence presented was not credible enough to send him to the chair. His first support was the “rare” switch blade knife the boy used to stab his father. Davis was able to find the same exact knife at a pawn shop in the boy’s neighborhood for only $6. His second support was the train that passed during the time of the murder. The train is very loud and the jury determined that it would be very difficult for the old man who lived downstairs to hear the boy yell “I am going to kill you.” His third piece of evidence was whether or not the old man who claimed to see the boy running down the stairs...