12 Angry Men: Art of Persuation

Topics: Regulatory Focus Theory, Persuasion, Not proven Pages: 4 (1748 words) Published: March 25, 2012
12 Angry Men: Art of Persuasion
According to the legal system of the United States, every man put on trial is considered innocent until proven guilty. In the beginning of the film 12 Angry Men, however, this theory can almost be considered false to the jurors involved in a murder case. This 18-year-old Italian boy from a slum is on trial for stabbing his father to death. It is apparent that most jurors have already decided that the boy is guilty, and that they plan to return their verdict quickly, without even taking time for discussion. However, one juror, Juror Eight, stands alone against eleven others to convince them that the boy is not guilty, which means that he needs to persuade 11 other jurors from all walks of life, each with his own agenda, fears, and personal demons. In order to do so, he must prove with enough valid evidence that this boy is wrongfully accused of killing his father. Although this sounds like an impossible mission, he ultimately persuades the other 11 jurors to change their mind, with the reasonable doubts he finds during the debate, and more important, the superior persuasion techniques. To sum up, Juror Eight uses incremental persuasion during the debate in the small private room. When persuading, he does so one small step at a time. He gets the rest of jurors to agree to a small point, and then gets agreement on a further smaller point. Then another and another until he has got them to his final destination. The brilliant part of it is that Juror Eight makes each small point very easy to accept and as logical as possible so none of the rest can really object to it. The debate starts with the first round of vote, in which all jurors except Juror Eight vote for guilty. After the first round of vote, he calls into question the accuracy and reliability of the only two witnesses to the murder, the rarity of the murder weapon and the overall questionable circumstances. He further concludes that he cannot in good conscience vote...
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