Twelve Angry Men

TwelveAngry Men

The‘jury of peers’ has established itself as a team that enablescitizens to learn about the law while giving them a platform todeliberate on various legal matters. It serves as a democraticfreedom that citizens enjoy since the jurors compose of members ofthe society.

Themovie,, isa drama that narrates the judgement of an eighteen-year-old boy ontrial for the murder of his father, by a jury of twelve men.

Atrial by ‘jury of peers’ makes it possible for the accused toface a fair trial. It creates a platform where variousinterpretations of the law are given before reaching the finalverdict. In the drama TwelveAngry Men thejurors initially vote ‘guilty’ except for the 8thjuror who voted ‘not guilty.` The move results in the furtherdeliberation of facts revolving around the case. He quotes the boy’sdistressed upbringing as a possible contributing factor in motivatinghim to commit the crime. An argument emanates from other jurorscausing them to change their verdict.

Further,the ‘jury of peers’ eliminates the passing of a judgment cloudedby generalisation, discrimination, and assumptions made by thejudges. In TwelveAngry Men,the 3rdjuror presumes that the boy is guilty because of the belief thatchildren of his age behave in a similar way. The 10thjuror discriminates against the kid because of his origin he has afetish for poor people. Though all the discriminations happen, theboy eventually gets a fair trial and is granted justice. The jurorsput aside their beliefs and perceptions about the child and decide toreason out the case. ‘Jury of peers’ solves cases overlookingprejudice.

‘Juryof peers’ ensures that an emotional connection between thedefendant and the judges is established making the jurors executetheir duty without being biased. For example, in TwelveAngry Men,the 8thjuror appeals to the other jurors’ sense of pathos and pity to givethe boy a chance. He states

Thisboy’s been kicked around all his life…

He’shad a pretty terrible sixteen years. I think maybe we owe him a fewwords. That’s all.” (GradeSaver)

Otherjurors decide to employ their humanity, logic and reasoning to laytheir judgement, clearing their previous ignorance, racism and allother discriminations they had based their prejudice.

Everyman has a right to a fair trial. ‘Jury of peers’ allows a groupof people from various specs of life to sit on a panel and deliberateon a case. For example, in TwelveAngry Men,the jurors were from various backgrounds and thus differedpersonalities, beliefs and in knowledge. Such a scenario gave thejurisdiction various points of views to the case, and the eventualjudgement past can be arguably claimed to be fair, ‘jury of peers’serves the purpose of ensuring justice and punishing the guilty.

‘Juryof peers’ is one of the America’s systems of passing judgement oncriminals. It plays an essential role in allowing citizens exercisetheir civic rights to participate in legal matters and thus ensuringfair trials and opportunities for the defendants to be heard. Thissystem is very efficient and therefore be upheld.


&quot12Angry Men Quotes and Analysis | GradeSaver.&quot. N.p., n.d. Web. 22Jun. 2016

TwelveAngry Men

Thejury system consists of a group of people who sit in civil andcriminal procedures to decide on cases. It splits the course of thefacts and the legal issues so that ordinary citizens can reserve therights of expert judges. TwelveAngry Men,a drama written by Reginald Rose, is based on an eighteen-year-oldyoung man accused of murdering his father. The evidence providedseems persuasive and the jurors are unanimously voting guilty.However, one of the jurors raises concerns and convinces the rest ofthe jury to evaluate the intent patiently and with diligence. Thestory ends up with the 12 jurors changing their position andacquitting the young man. The end of the story reflects the flawsthat arise when the “juryof our peers” are mandated with the duty of deciding a case.

Thedomination of the majority is a primary weakness in using the system.At the beginning of the film, the 8thjuror votes ‘not guilty’ against 11 votes of the rest of thejury. His remarks,

Therewere eleven votes for guilty. It’s not so easy for me to raise myhand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.”(Lumet, 1957).

Itportrays the variation in a right, and an incorrect democracy. Acorrect democracy gives people a chance to express their ideas andopinions. It enables people to make decisions based on facts andreason and not on taking sides even if the truth would be in hands ofa single individual. In the story, the 8thjuror single-handedly persuaded the other jurors to save a boy’slife in a procedurally fair process. Were it not for the 8thjuror’s exception from taking sides with the rest of the jury, theboy would have received a death sentence.

Further,prejudice is the other weakness associated with the system. Forexample, the third juror argued,

You’reright. It’s the kids. The way they are—you know? They don’tlisten. I’ve got a kid. When he was eight years of age, he ran awayfrom a fight. I saw him. I was ashamed I told right out I would makea man out of him. When he was fifteen, he hit me in the face. He’sbig, you know. I haven’t seen him in three years. Rotten kid! Youwork your heart out…. All right, let’s get on with it.”


Hemade an assumption of the boy based on his childhood behavior. Herelies on experience and age to present his argument. This prejudicewould have cost the boy’s life at stigma.

Theother flaw of “juryof our peers” isthat it consists of a group of ordinary citizens who are not legalexperts. It is a challenge since jurors have to make decisions onpractical issues beyond their aptitude. Lack of legal knowledgediscriminates a defendant’s right to a legally just and fair trial.

Oftenjury trials are influenced by personalities of the jurors. Theesteemed figures on the panel shifts or determines the verdict. Forexample, in the movie, the 11thjuror, a refugee from Europe had faced many hardships and injustices.The idea of democracy impressed him, and he sought justice for theyoung man. The 10thjuror whose personality segregates the poor from the rich in thesociety was biased against the young man because he was from theslums. He was among the last to change his vote. Thoughts and beliefsof individuals are affected by their feelings. It explains why the11thjuror sought justice for the boy, while the 3rdwas reluctant in accepting the boy’s innocence.

Overall,the American judicial system is explored through the use ofsymbolism. The TwelveAngry Mencan be used to demonstrate the shortcomings of the“jury of our peers”whenit comes to the promotion of justice. Professional jurors shouldinstead be given the mandate to decide on legal cases.


Lumet,S. &quot, film directed by Sidney Lumet, writingcredits by Reginald