"12 Angry Men" Film Discussion

Topics: Logic, Fallacy, Critical thinking, 12 Angry Men, Jury, American film actors / Pages: 3 (543 words) / Published: Jul 30th, 2013
Gus Jackson
October 28, 2010
12 Angry Men
5. There just seems to be a general lack of relevant background information in this case. There are only the two witnesses, and even their stories have some doubt surrounding them. Furthermore, none of the jurors (as far as we know) have any significant background in dealing with these matters. It is revealed that Ed Begley has a prejudice that seems to be affecting his judgment in the case. During an exchange with one of the other jurors, Begley says of the Hispanic defendant, “you can’t trust anything they say.” The other juror calls him out on his racism towards ‘they.’ Obviously this prejudice would play a factor in Begley’s trying of a defendant he inherently dislikes. Jack Warden exhibits egocentrism in that he just wants to wrap up the case so he can get to a baseball game. He is only thinking of his desires and valuing these over a child’s life. Many of the jury members impose peer pressure on Henry Fonda, particularly Warden in trying to force him to change his vote. Whatever their reason may be for Fonda to change his decision, this is as direct an example of peer pressure there can be. In line with peer pressure, conformism is a prevalent barrier to critical thinking. All of the jurors must overcome the pressure to go with the group and make their own decision. Fonda makes the case that accepting the knife found at the crime scene as the boy’s lost knife is an unwarranted assumption. It could just be a coincidence, a case he explicates by pulling out an identical blade of his own. Regarding the lack of relevant background information and assumptions, the jurors give in to rationalization. Ignoring any valid argument that is put forth, they justify their way around it to maintain a guilty verdict. This could also be called denial in that the jurors are ignoring good reasoning.

6. Throughout the proceedings, people seem to jump on the bandwagon regarding their stance on the defendant. During the

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