12 Angry Men: Reaction Paper
The film 12 Angry Men gives an inside look at the inner workings of a jury deliberation as twelve random strangers are called to do their civil duty. In a group of diverse people from different backgrounds, Henry Fonda’s character attempts to convince the rest of his fellow jurors not to easily convict a troubled young man just because it would be the simple solution to all of their problems. The jurors are placed in extreme circumstances in which heat and angst drive them to push for a guilty verdict, despite the clear evidence of reasonable doubt presented through the trials facts. In the end, Henry Fonda’s character gets the other jurors to realize that all of the evidence is circumstantial and they present a not guilty verdict to the judge. This film presents a situation in which it becomes clear that previous prejudices can influence the verdict that certain jurors hand down. It is difficult for people to become unbiased, even in cases that require them to be.
The backgrounds of the various jurors came to light throughout their deliberations. The one juror that took the most convincing was one that was carrying emotional baggage involving his own tumultuous relationship with his estranged son. Another juror clearly looked down on the defendant’s impoverished background. One man could care less about the situation and just wanted to make a baseball game that night. The jurors had their reasons for voting the ways that they did, but this proves that everyone has bias based on their backgrounds and past life experiences. The only way that someone can form an opinion is because they have a moral compass that guides them as to what they accept to be right and wrong. This is what drives a person’s beliefs, and this is what influences them the most if they are placed on a jury. The deliberation room also caused an uncomfortable situation for the jurors. Most people dread the day that they will be called upon to serve on a jury. It...
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