12 Angry Men Jury System

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AUTHENTIC JUROR TESTIMONY IN RESPONSE TO AN OFFICIAL REVIEW OF JURY SYSTEM OF NEW YORK STATE

NAME: Shreya Shah

OFFICIAL ADDRESS: St Peters Lutheran College, 66 Harts Road, Indooroopilly, Qld, 4068

COURT NAME: The Supreme Court of New York State

TRIAL: Murder Case of Puerto Rican Youth

DATE AND DURATION OF SERVICE: 9 July 1957, Duration of 4 hours

DATE OF COMPOSITION: 12 August 1957

The jury system either the majority or unanimous system is a part of our Justice system. Recently, when present at a trial of young Puerto Rican youth accused of murder, it appeared that the unanimous jury was stronger and favourable. This was concluded as the longer timeframe which the unanimous system in this case allowed the opinion of all jurors’ in the decision making process which resulted in a reasonable doubt. At the same time, it allowed the jurors’ prejudice to affect their judgement and acquired a fair chance to thoroughly re- examine the evidence. The extensive timeframe of the unanimous jury system, allowed the evidence presented in the courtroom to be thoroughly examined, especially as the defence attorney appeared less than proactive. To start, the testimony of the knife presented in court was disproved in the jury room as an identical knife was revealed by Juror Eight. Thus it became apparent it would have been “coincidence for another person to have stabbed the father with the same kind of knife” (p.17) that resulted in a change in Juror Nines’ vote. Similarly, Juror Eight raised another statement regarding the time it took the old male witness to reach his door and see the boy, posing a doubt in the jurors’ minds, as “it’s a long walk….for an old man who had a stroke” (p.34) which modified the votes of Juror Two and Six. Correspondingly, most jurors immediately started to rethink their votes as the evidence was slowly examined in depth. Allowing the evidence to digest and the vote count to change from “11 to 1- guilty” (p.7) to reach a verdict...
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