Research Material on 'Twelve Angry Men'

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Twelve Angry Men the Jury System Abstract Juries are supposed to be fully prepared for their tasks prior to sending them into deliberation, and this is the responsibility of the judge presiding in any case. However, the film "Twelve Angry Men" shows that in the 1950s the judge may fail to fully educate the jury regarding the concept of "reasonable doubt." Moreover, even in today's system of justice there is confusion as what reasonable doubt really means and how it should be applied. Introduction When accused of wrongdoing or of a specific crime, American citizens are afforded certain rights thanks to the system of democracy in the United States. A trial by jury with jury members made of one's peers is the right that plays the overwhelmingly salient role in the movie "12 Angry Men." This paper delves into the jury's role in the movie along with the role of a jury in the American justice system. The thesis: a) the American system of justice has come a long way since the 1950s, when judges did not necessarily explain to juries that the accused cannot be convicted unless there proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she is guilty; and b) there are legitimate questions raised as to what "reasonable doubt" really means. The Jury System and 12 Angry Men The make-up of the Jury in "12 Angry Men" was vastly different than would be expected today. It is quite likely that a jury today in a case like this would be made up of nearly half women, and if the accused was
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