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12 Angry Men

Essay by   •  May 25, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,058 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,679 Views

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The movie presented a good count of human behavior, how prejudice we can be and how personal feelings play a part in decisions making. In the beginning, for most members of the jury, their motivation was to finish the process so that they could go home or for one who had tickets for ball game that night. We were able to see how use of reasoning can be a great tool to have people think outside of their comfort zone, how powerful it is to be assertive when you are presenting ideas or arguments, use emotional connection to form a coalition with other members in a group, how to avoid conformity in a group decision and how fairness prevailed in reaching the final decision.

From the onset most jury members appeared to have made their mind of what the verdict is without considering facts- how do the fact fit with time frame presented in the case, is it possible for things to happen as presented and how does testimony of witness support prosecution's case. Juror 8 thought otherwise from the group and decided to challenge others on their decision "...we are talking about somebody's life here suppose we are wrong"2, he reasoned with them and wanted to talk about the case and the fact presented, reminded them the importance of their decision. It made sense to some that for a decision of that magnitude someone should not take it lightly. He wondered why the defense lawyer was not forceful in his cross examination to find out more about the people testified.

These jurors came from a different background and had different life experience which shaped their personality; Jury 8 was an architect, by nature he is prone to figure things out which can explain his desire to find out the facts. He put forward different ways of looking at the facts as presented. This helped to challenge a preconceived idea or judgment. Other members of the jury were not able to defend their positions and relied on others to make their argument. When pressed they fall into the "cold hard facts" argument indicating the prosecution had presented very good case for the position they took. With his approach to ask questions he was able to bring reasoning to the older juror who questioned juror 10 "do you think you are born with monopoly of truth?" This was a sign he had started to break into group cohesiveness and to transform their initial decision

He agreed to not knowing what the truth is but he was confident enough that there are other possibilities to the evidence and it was worth to explore them. When it was time for other jurors to convince him to change his mind, he argued with confidence citing that the constitution requires the prosecution to have the burden of the proof. Information provided to them was not precise enough to help them make a decision either way; knowing this, juror 8 knew that if he showed others different ways of looking at the information he will be able to influence their decision. An example is when he presented them with the same knife used in murder, he successfully



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