The Analysis Of The Movie "12 Angry Men"
In the United States criminal justice system, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable count. Our law requires the jury to exonerate the defendant unless swayed by substantial evidence that deems the guilt of the defendant. Many times, juries come across a problematic consensus of the defendant’s fate. This problem is manifested in the movie 12 Angry Men, which focuses on a murder trial against a Hispanic 18-year-old boy who is on trial for allegedly stabbing his father to death. Renowned for its display of the corrosive effects of prejudice, we see up close and personal precisely what man truly is capable of being. We see distinctive perspectives, a myriad supposition of men, for example, altruism, egoism, the battle between good versus evil. Jurors number one, three, four, seven, ten, and twelve confidently and without hesitation raised their hands in favor of inditing the defendant. Spoiler alert, in order of changing their votes, the trend went in reverse.
There are many fundamental perspectives and points exhibited in 12 Angry Men, the most critical one being that prejudice consistently influences reality and the judgment of a group of people. Unafraid to adhere to his morality scorn by remaining against the crowd in support of an unpopular cause, juror eight out of the eleven is the one who argues the boy deserves some deliberation. He uncovered and challenged prejudice, through consistent reasoning, principle, and quality of character, and keeps premature labor of equity that could have seen an honest young man sent to be executed. One part that grabs my attention is what Fonda’s character does which seems highly questionable from an ethical perspective.
After a preliminary vote, having made an initial attempt to convince the others that the defendant’s guilt may be in doubt, juror eight is outnumbered eleven to one, another vote is proposed. At this stage, Fonda’s character offers to back down and recant by voting guilty if the new results reveal that he still stands alone in a minority of one —doing this long before most of the evidence has been sufficiently examined and considered. There is a possible tactical reason he decides this, utilitarianism. Yielding to all of the jurors, the greatest number, and going along with a guilty verdict, the greatest happiness, just to make all of them happy would be the greatest good that would come of it all.
Perhaps he was asking other people to reconsider their opinions and change their vote — make a point that he was open to changing his stance, just as he was urging them to be open to change theirs. He was trying to show that he was willing to be conciliatory — and that, in asking the other members of the jury be adaptable and think about opening their minds, he was not requesting that they accomplish something he was not set up to do himself. With that thinking, it creates one way of the many ethical systems used by Fonda’s character to attempt to resolve the fundamental moral dilemma the other juror’s personal prejudices pose.
The whole movie encircles itself on Fundamental Attribution Error. Fundamental Attribution Error is individuals’ inclination to overemphasize individual qualities and overlook situational factors in passing judgment on others conduct. So the Member of the jury’s perceptual procedure of choosing whether the conduct and the impression of a guilty or not guilty verdict is caused, and in the end, changed for the most part by inward or by outer elements. All through the movie, choices are made and changed in light of every one of the juror’s personalities and life experiences. During the film, self-fulfilling prophecy, stereotyping, recency effect, and not limited to projection were displayed by the people of the jury. Juror number three, who was last to change his decision to “Not guilty” carried personal baggage when it came to the estrangement and lost relationship with his own son. This aligns with Correspondent Influence Theory which portrays conditions under which we make dispositional characteristics to the behavior we deem as deliberate.
Mentioning as a teenager his son physically attacked him, he correlates that the defendant’s conduct, in his mind to that of his child. Therefore, causing a projection of personal experience. This is a clear case of Virtue Ethics. Whether or not the built up anger of his son was justified, juror three let it consume his life and soil his relationships to those close to him, and allowing clouded judgment, so that another person’s unrelated case becomes an opening to enact a personal vengeance. Unequipped for making reasonable judgments in the jury room, in light of the fact that a disarranged emotion—his resentment against his child—hues his view of everything that is brought up from the case.
His personal experience vividly paints the danger of long-standing, personal resentments and demands for reconciliation. His own experience strikingly paints the threat of long-standing, individual feelings of disdain and requests for compromise. The likelihood of this ends up clear in the end snapshots of the film, as No. 3 crumples on the jury table in tears in the wake of having torn a photograph of his child and mumbles, “not guilty.” At that moment, juror three appears to have understood the worthlessness of indignation and the need for love and closure to reestablish the right order: Justice.
There are many essential views and values demonstrated in 12 Angry Men. The movie provides the viewers with lessons about the formation of conscience, the cultivation of virtuous emotions, a sense of proportion between moral duties, and the most important one being that prejudice continually affect the truth and peoples judgment. There are ways an individual’s prejudices can be eliminated so that the truth about the defendant’s actions are all that remains; identifying all moral dilemmas for everyone involved, what ethical issue does the individual face, and resulting in a resolution by using an ethical system. Expected from us in the real world every day are the choices we make with our morals. Our actions, convictions, and decisions are distinct and what isolate us from anything else.
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