In the movie 12 Angry Men there are several people who could be considered a hero. Some would say that the true hero was Juror Number 6, who first doubted the guiltiness of the young man; some would say it was the Foreman who kept relative order in the room; however, Juror Number 7 should definitely not be overlooked. Number 7, along with contributing an important piece of knowledge, was the one who stopped the delivery of the guilty verdict, he was the first to vocally agree with Juror Number 6. Juror Number 6 was without a doubt one of the most important men in the room, but without the help of Juror Number 7 the guilty verdict would have been given to the judge. Number 7 was the first true believer; he went out on a limb, in wanting to find the truth, when he could have very easily anonymously voted guilty and they could have been done with the situation.
In fact, it is this dynamic on which the trial-by-jury system relies. At its best, a jury – like any team working together to produce a specified result – will draw on the different personalities, approaches and strengths of each individual team member to achieve a creative abrasion which, in turn, will allow them to produce the “right” (and fair) verdict. When the jury first convenes, eleven of the 12 jurors are convinced of the boy’s guilt (e.g. juror 3 – “this is an open and shut case”): • A minority of the jurors actually seem convinced of the boy’s guilt by virtue of the testimony given in court. • Others are basing their decision on their own deeply rooted prejudices – again others on personal experiences.
The first Juror to vote not-guilty in the case, is Juror eight, a self-actualized man with an Engineer-type personality, who suggests the jury first discuss the facts of the case before condemning the accused eighteen year old to death. As a natural thinker, expert in rhetoric, and individual with a high social and emotional IQ, which allows him to relate and understand people well, Juror eight manages to put doubt into the minds of the other juror’s about the accuracy of the evidence provided in the courtroom. For instance, he uses a combination of ethos, logos and pathos when explaining how the court story of the club legged old man, who heard the murder and saw the boy running down the stairs, flawed. In the story the club legged old man tells in court, he heard someone cry-out and a body hit the floor above him before he hurried from his bed to the door at the end of the hall, about sixty-five feet away, in ten seconds and opened the door just in time to see the eighteen year old running down the stairs. In the jury room, Juror eight first used pathos, to appease to the emotion and sympathy of the
While Rose showcases the effect of prejudice and its impact on conflict, he endures using his jury, the major influence personal experience has on people, and each other, making the decision from come personally. The play, being set in the 1950’s America, impacts on all the textual concerns that Rose presents. For instance, all the racial tension which created the rift in the 1950’s between different groups of people supported the significance of the play. Personal pressure is a factor which affects conflict, with its power and conformity it can impact on how others think and how they view the whole situation. However, personal experience is also a factor which impacts on every conflict, and from what the person has experienced from their own past, it can change the way that person views the other.
All other eleven men are certain that the boy is guilty. However, Davis smartly utilizes some key tools to move his cause forward. Some of the other men are outraged that Davis could even fathom that the boy is innocent and promptly lash out towards him. Davis, instead of retaliating in kind, uses polite and friendly talk to express his concerns. In fact, throughout the entire film, it is probably Davis’s amicable nature as well as cool reasoning that most persuades the jury members.
Juror #2 was a very frantic and nervous type of guy. In the beginning he voted the boy guilty, but by the end of the film his reasonable doubt had him opposed to that previous notion. Juror #3 was the assumed “antagonist” which fits his character very well. He was all for the young boy’s execution the whole time until he glanced at a picture that held some type of symbolism to him when he finally broke down and voted innocent. Juror #4 the Wall Street guy was very analytical about his vote.
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.
This is a great example of the use of the rhetoric, ethos’s because he is basing his decision of not guilty, off of principles and morals rather than evidence shown, and wants to first discuss and way all the evidence of the case, rather than just making a quick decision because it seems that the logical answer would be guilty. After they start to discuss the evidence that was presented in court it is brought up by one of the jurors that the switch blade used in the murder was very unique and that it would be highly unlikely that someone else would have had the same exact knife as the boy and used it stab the victim. This is where number starts to use the rhetoric; of logo’s by revealing that had he had been walking in the boy’s neighborhood after the trail a knife that was the exact same one as the one found at the murder scene just two blocks from the boys home. He then goes on to explain that this proves that the boy could be telling the truth , about losing the knife in his neighborhood on the way home , and that the knife may not be as hard to come by as they may have thought. By bringing this up and providing evidence that could disprove what was presented in court , juror number 8
Gabriel Cardona Communication 101 October 22, 2012 12 Angry Men “If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused, a reasonable doubt, then you must bring me a verdict of 'Not Guilty'. If, however, there's no reasonable doubt, then you must, in good conscience, find the accused "Guilty". –Judge. Twelve Angry Men is a black and white film from the 1950’s in which 12 men from different backgrounds and lifestyles must use group communication to decide a young, mislead boys fate. All men are lead into a jury room to cast their individual votes and determine a final verdict to the trial.
This movie was all about non-ethical and lazy like sayings, such as: “lets get it over quick” and “who really cares”. One guy, the 8th juror, did not agree with these saying’s and believed that a tough decision like this could not be decided in 5 minutes. He played a smart game, which we call ’playing devils advocate’. While the 11 men thought the person charged was guilty, this one juror thought differently. The 12 angry men were your average men, but each one had a different side.