The 12 Dos and Don’ts you learn from watching the
12 Angry Men
In reviewing this excellent 1957 classic directed by Sidney Lumet about essentially 12 jurors with “life in their hands and death on their minds,” one can draw parallels to the daily choices we make in our lives. I would refer to them as the 12 Dos and Don’ts of our daily walk. The 6 Dos:
Have faith in the judicial system. This movie gives a positive and beneficial spin on our judicial system. Citizens should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Juror #8, exceptionally will portrayed by Henry Fonda, was adamant throughout the film that as individual should not be automatically considered guilty until all the facts were reviewed. He stressed the fact that a jury must examine the evidence completely and without prejudice. Juror #8 was persistent during one scene, so much so that was referred to as “a golden hearted preacher” and a “self-appointed public avenger” by two separate jurors. 2.
How to use sound arguments to convince and persuade people without intimidation. Henry Fonda’s character, Mr. Davis and the shrewd older gentleman, Mr. McGoggle, portrayed by Joseph Sweeney, juror #9 both used logical, sound arguments to eventually convince their remaining peers to change their minds. The observation by juror #9 about “the pinched mark on the nose” of a witness was a one of the key turning points in the movie that allowed the rest of the jurors to further review more evidence. The method of employed by juror #9, was non-threatening and subtle. 3.
Give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
We should not be too quick to pass judgment on any person, thing or situation because of our prejudices. Get to know more about the circumstance, do due diligence and don’t let as juror #8 said, “prejudice always obscures the truth”, happen to you.
Have compassion and empathy on your fellow human beings.
Toward the end of the final scene inside the jury room after the character brilliantly...
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