In 12 Angry Men, Juror #8 tries to convince the other jurors that the defendant of the case, an 18 year old boy accused of stabbing his father to death, is not guilty based on a reasonable doubt. Throughout the film Juror #8 goes over the facts and details of the case to point out the flaws in the evidence in order to prove there is, in fact, a reasonable doubt. The film depicts the struggles of the underdog and going against the majority in order to stand up for what is right. In one scene, the piece of evidence being put into question is a testimony from an elderly man who lived below the boy and his father and claimed he heard the murder happen and saw the boy leave the apartment after it happened. It is being put into question whether the elderly man who walked with a limp could make it to his doorway in order to witness the boy running away from the crime in fifteen seconds.
The last major fact that influences the juries agreement that the accused is not guilty are doubts of another witness’s testimony; the lady across the street who supposedly saw the accused young man stab his father. The jurors started talking about needing glasses to read the clock when Juror 8 realizes that the lady used very strong glasses and it is not possible that she could have had time to put them on and see the young man clearly stab his father. Juror 8 says,
Juror 3 was basing his failed relationship with his son on the accused boy. The reason that he had such a bad relationship with his son is because when the boy was young, he ran away from a fight and Juror 3 said: “I’m going to make a man out of you or I’m going to bust you up into little pieces trying”. Later on, when his son was older, they got into a fight and Juror 3 hasn’t seen him since. This experience probably left him the impression that all kids take their loved ones for granted, and that they deserve severe punishments. Juror 3 is not the type to provide the sharpest evidence or information, but he is very determined to prove that the accused really did murder the victim. Juror 8 practically gives nothing away about his real life, probably because he did not want to add his own prejudices to the case. Juror 3 gave both his ill-mannered personality and bigotry away in the play.
The old man gave evidence that he heard the boy say “I’ll kill you” from his apartment below and that he saw the boy running from the down the stairs from the apartment after rising from his bedroom. The old lady saw the boy kill his father through her window, whilst a train was passing. Juror #8 analyses each of these points and makes credible arguments that the conclusion is flawed based on incorrect reasoning, by pointing out inconsistencies in the conclusions reached. The other jurors are content to believe that their reasoning is solid, as they have used examples of deductive reasoning to reach their conclusion. Juror #3 gives his reasons for reaching the conclusion that “It’s quite clear that the boy never went to the movies that night, returned home and killed his father with the knife as identified in Court” (Fonda & Lumet, 1957). Until Juror #8 takes out a similar knife and poses the question that it was possible that another knife was used, Juror #7 calls it a million to one however Juror #8 persists in saying it was possible. He also uses this analysis method to cast aspersions on the second point and third points raised by systematically analyzing each component.
One has impressions on her nose, and then she must wear glasses. If she wears glasses, her eyesight is probably poor. If her eyesight is probably poor, then her testimony is questionable. Hypothetical reasoning.
The 8th Juror actively questions what constitutes a ‘fact’ when examining the evidence. He does this by looking at each aspect of the evidence provided and considering alternative options to the explanations given in court. When the defendant is unable to remember what movie he had seen the 8th Juror suggests that the may not have been able to remember minor details after such “an upsetting experience… as being struck in the face by [his] father”. He also questions the old man’s testimony. While many of the jurors believe the old man’s testimony is “unshakeable” Rose challenges the idea there is a lot of “circumstantial evidence” yet no concrete facts. Therefore he encourages the jurors to look from different perspectives at the witness testimonies, not just accept what they hear as being true. Many of the eyewitnesses may have been fallible and therefore should be subject to the same questioning as the defendant in
Juror #8 is a calm and reasonable man which makes it easier for him to judge the case fairly and justly without any prejudice. Juror #8 never said he believed the defendant to be innocent he only wanted to take the role of being a juror seriously and talk about the case before a young boy is sent off to die. “I’m not trying to change your mind it’s just that we’re talking about somebody’s life here… we can’t decide in five minutes.” Because he brings no prejudice in the jury room he is able to look at the facts and carefully decide on his judgement. Juror #8 recognizes other peoples prejudice and tries not to convince them that the boy is innocent but to have them let go of that prejudice and decide based on the facts whether they truly believe the defendant is guilty or not. Rose uses both juror
His prejudice caused conflict with all of the other jury members and after some time he too changed his vote to not guilty. The stock broker with the glasses was the eleventh juror to vote not guilty. He was the fourth juror and self assured that his decision was correct and that the defendant had murdered his father. He was involved in simple conflict with the rest of the jurors.
noticed that another juror wore glasses just like one of the witnesses because of the marks on his nose
The act of being untruthful in a society may arise when most people present false statements. Although Juror 8 has convinced nine other jurors to see reasonable doubt they further discuss a witness in her forties “making a tremendous effort to look thirty-five for her first public appearance” and states that she lived in the opposite apartment from the accused and his father. Juror 9 who points out that “the woman who testified that she saw the killing had these same deep marks on the side of her nose” indicating that she wears eyeglasses and the statement in her testimony was inaccurate. This alters the three other jurors verdict of voting guilty as one witnesses testimony could of made
Whilst the rest of the play is rather static, the scene re-enacting the old man’s testimony is the only instance of thorough physicality throughout. Though the man stated it took him 15 seconds to reach the hall way, juror proves otherwise, portraying the man’s movements and covering the same distance in 42 seconds. Juror 9, being an elder himself, understood this false testimony to be a result of his self-worth, as “[it’s] a very sad thing, to be nothing”. “Nobody knows him” and “nobody quotes him”; “a man like this needs to be recognised”. This, along with the female eye witness who “honestly thought [she] saw the boy kill his father”, though is assumed to have “saw only a blur”, since she was not wearing her glasses, is just two examples of how various factors can influence an eye witness’s testimony and invalidate
You're not gonna tell me you believe that phony story about losing the knife, and that business about being at the movies. Look, you know how these people lie! It's born in them! I mean what the heck? I don't even have to tell you. They don't know what the truth is! And lemme tell you, they don't need any real big reason to kill someone, either! No sir! [Juror 10, page 51] This type of prejudice offended many of the other jurors, especially Juror 5 who is of similar race to the accused.
First, Juror 8 stood his ground. In the beginning the Foreman called for a vote and eleven men raised their hand for guilty while Juror 8 raised his hand for not guilty. “There were eleven votes for guilty. It's not so easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.” said Juror 8 for justifying his actions. Later, when the other jurors were trying to convince Juror 8, he was quick with his arguments. To Juror 2 he said, “Nobody has to prove otherwise. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The defendant doesn’t have to open his mouth. That’s in the constitution. You’ve heard of it.” To Juror 10 he said, “You don’t believe the boy. How come you believe the woman? She’s one of “them” too, isn’t she?” When Juror 6 brought up the motive for the murder, Juror 8 remarked with, “…I
Another major source of conflict is the other jurors’ disinterested approach to the trial. Almost every juror approaches Juror #8’s insistence on a not guilty vote with avoidance. They care little about the case and do not grasp its gravity,