12 Angry Men and Morality
A moral person does what is right for the group or society as a whole, not what is just right for themselves or one other person at any given point in time. In 12 Angry Men the voice of moral reason is clearly Juror Number 8, who from the beginning is the only “Not Guilty” vote because he believes they should at least talk about the court case of the Puerto Rican boy before they send him ultimately to his death. Juror 8 had integrity; he realized that his own actions shaped who he was and what would happen to the young boy. He was thoughtful in his consideration of the evidence and the case, for he realized that not only were the jurors proving the integrity of the judicial system, but in addition the conscience of the jurors were at stake too. Juror 8 called into question all the evidence, such as the knife, the old man walking to his door, the woman seeing the murder, and proved it all to be circumstantial evidence and not one hundred percent true, that there was reasonable doubt that it did not all go down as stated in court on the night of the murder. A moral person thinks things through, examines them against right and wrong, and doesn’t let their own personal bias get in the way of their decision. They uphold their integrity and realize the severity of the situation, because as they know “a boy may die.”
The reason that the other members of the jury at first automatically voted “Guilty” was because they let an array of different elements interfere with their moral deliberations. Sometimes people get distracted, like Juror 7 trying to rush through the voting to get to a baseball game he had tickets for. Others can have prejudices against certain people, like Juror 10 who believes that people born in the slum are innately evil from birth and of course they would kill their own father, they are born liars, no question about it. These characters were not upholding their moral integrity in there...
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