12 Angry Men Questions Essay
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1. Do you think that the jury in this movie came to the right decision? Why/why not?
I think that the jury in this movie came to the wrong decision, because I feel that all throughout the deliberation the factual evidence did not have any reasonable doubt lingering above it, which was the complete opposite of the opinion of juror 8, and gradually everyone else. While there was factual evidence presented, juror 8 persuaded all the rest of the jurors at the end to disregard the forensics, and to deduce their own theories, by blatantly stating “what if” questions persuading all jurors to a unanimous decision.
2. Did your opinion of the case change as the movie progressed, or did it stay the same throughout the entire movie? Explain.
My opinion of the case changed as the movie progressed, and did not stay the same throughout the entire movie. In the beginning I felt that the teenage boy was guilty and that the facts were too evident and clear, but slowly I was so fascinated by juror 8’s logic and his thinking ability, it got me interested and swayed my vote for “not guilty” I also believed what juror 8 was saying by his tone of voice, which was clear and rhetorical. He showed the panel a rough estimate on how long it would take for the father to get stabbed, walk with a limp, and still call for help.
3. Juror 8 made the statement, “Prejudice obscures the truth.” Which character(s) based their decisions on prejudice? Explain. Juror 10 is one of the most racist and prejudice of the all the jurors a quote to show this is “Now you’re not going to tell us that we’re supposed to believe that kid, knowing what he is. Listen, I’ve lived among ‘em all my life. You can’t believe a word they say. I mean, they’re born liars.” When he says this he means/believes that people are born in slums are born to live lives of crime and disseat, even thou juror 5 was born and lived in a slum all his life he is a perfectly respectable man. This proves that juror 10 was wrong and people born in slums aren’t born to lie and commit crime.
4. Why do you think Juror 3 held out so long before changing his mind at the end?
Juror 3 is the last to change his mind because of his grudge against kids; this grudge between him and his son had stemmed from a fight and immediately his son left home and has never seen him in more than two years. Ever since that incident juror 3 has had a personal dislike against kids which is evident when juror 3 says “‘that goddamn rotten kid, I know him, what they’re like. What they do to you. How they kill you every day. My God, don’t you see? How come I’m the only one who sees? Jeez, I can feel that knife going in.’” This proves that juror 3 thinks he knows every kid in the whole world and knows that they are disrespectful and unthankful. But by the end of deliberation when he was the lone man voting guilty, he was overwhelmed with pressure by the jurors and his bottled feelings for his son that instantly come out, realizing that he cannot treat the teenage boy like his son, and thus treat him fairly.
5. Did this movie provide an accurate depiction of jury deliberation? Explain. The deliberation was for pure entertainment but also great acting was presented by the jurors as they showed the atmosphere in a deliberation room, as the testimony of many jurors in real life explain that they are very anxious to leave and would like to quickly go home, who may listen to a case for days. Such jurors like juror three took notes and noted evidence and factual information, though it is very uncommon for jurors to take notes, it is legal and shows that some can remember while other are better to write things down. But one scene that rang an alarm for me is when juror 8 brought out the similar knife used in the crime scene, to show “that anyone could have put a knife at the crime scene.” He should have been kicked off the jury the moment he went out and bought the knife. By law, juries are not allowed to conduct their own investigations, and if the other jurors had just reported Juror No.
8 for that, he’d have been replaced by an alternate. Yes, it’s cool for characters in a movie to take the law into their own hands. In real life, you like to leave tasks like that to the people who have years of training and law enforcement experience. Even with that, Juror No. 8’s whole line of reasoning is wrong at almost every step. According to the law, it’s the jury’s job to determine the veracity of the evidence presented, as is — not to question and interpret the evidence any way they choose and make wild assumptions about witnesses. For instance, you don’t just dismiss blood evidence as “probably planted” unless you are presented with evidence that it has been planted.
Likewise, you can’t just hand-wave away jury testimony based on, “There were indents on her nose.”
6. Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 100% rating. Are you surprised? Was this warranted? I am not surprised that Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie 100% rating; it is a very unique movie that has only 12 characters and one setting, which captures a complex-riddled dialogue using rhetorical, logical, metaphorical schemes and a bundle of jaw-dropping acting by Henry Fonda.
But in my opinion, I would rate this movie a 92% rating because though we learned in law class on the responsibilities and process in jury duty and deliberation many scenes would depict the opposite which caught my attention, but I understand that some parts were made to capture the audience’s attention throughout the movie, which indeed they did and had to tweak the truth.