12 Angry Men

Topics: Law, Jury, Not proven Pages: 3 (855 words) Published: April 2, 2014
12 Angry Men

This movie tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt. The film begins in a New York City courthouse, where an 18-year-old boy from a slum is on trial for allegedly stabbing his father to death. If the boy is found guilty, the judge informed the 12 jurors that he would receive a mandatory death sentence. In the United States, a verdict in most criminal trials by jury must be unanimous. These 12 men went back and forth for hours trying to find the correct verdict. It showed just how important a jury can be in cases like this. It also showed that the law is about all about right and wrong.

At first, all but one of the jurors, decided to return their verdict without taking time for discussion. Most of them simply didn’t want to be there, and others just didn't know the seriousness of their decision. The one juror who wanted to take time to discuss the situation was a man names Henry Fonda. He realized that this decision held the fate of a young boy’s life, and thought it was only right to at least discuss the case. His vote initially annoyed certain jurors such as Jack Warden, who had tickets to a baseball game that night, and Ed Begley who believed that most people from slum backgrounds are very likely to commit crimes like this. Henry Fonda spent all the time he could get pleading his case and continued to ask for re-votes. He gradually started to sway the rest of the jurors his way by logically explaining why the defendant could be guilty. After a long deliberation process, all 12 jurors finally came to the unanimous decision that the defendant was not guilty in this crime.

This showed just how important a jury is in the United States legal system. Without a jury, the defendant would have for sure been sentenced to the death penalty for a crime he did not commit. The idea is to put the law in the hands of the people. The government can't just decide...
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