12 angry men
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12 Angry Men. What Is “Reasonable Doubt”? “That state of minds of jurors in which they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge.”. Thematically Speaking.

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12 Angry Men

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12 angry men

12 Angry Men

12 angry men

  • What Is “Reasonable Doubt”?

  • “That state of minds of jurors in which they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge.”

Thematically speaking

Thematically Speaking...

  • “ ‘12 Angry Men …sees all the frailty and narrowness of man, and yet convincingly depicts how principle can sometimes prevail in the most difficult situations’”(Ian Waldron-Mantgani)

  • Judicial system?

  • One against many

  • The power of emotion against rationality

  • Personal courage and the power of conviction

  • The sources (and varieties) of good and evil

The defendant is entitled to the 7 elements of due process of u s law

The defendant is entitled to the 7 elements of ‘due process of U.S. Law’

  • He must be presumed innocent

  • He must have the right to confront his accuser

  • The prosecution must present proof “beyond reasonable doubt.”

  • He has the right to an attorney

  • His conviction must be unanimous

  • His jury must be composed of his peers

  • He cannot be compelled to testify against himself

Motivation for original juror positions

Motivation for original juror positions

  • Fear

  • Anger

Persuasive techniques and fallacies

Persuasive techniques and fallacies

  • Pathos (fear and anger-pity)

  • Ethos (presenting yourself as honest, reliable, thoughtful)

  • Logos (rationality-careful deliberation-comparing-contrasting-reviewing)

  • Propaganda (bandwagon theory- them against us)

The prosecution s case

The Prosecution’s Case:

  • At the beginning of the play, eleven of the jurors believe that the boy killed his father. They summarize the compelling evidence of the trial:

  • A 45 year old woman claimed she witnessed the defendant stabbing his father. She watched through her window as the city’s commuter train passed by.

  • An old man living downstairs claimed that he heard the boy yell “I’ll kill you!” followed by a “thump” on the floor. He then witnessed a young man, supposedly the defendant, running away.

  • Before the murder took place, the defendant purchased a switchblade, the same type that was used in the murder.

  • Presenting a weak alibi, the defendant claimed he was at the movies at the time of the murder. He failed to remember the names of the films.

Finding reasonable doubt

Finding Reasonable Doubt:

  • Juror #8 picks apart each piece of evidence to persuade the others. Here are some of the observations:

  • The old man could have invented his story because he craved attention. He also might not have heard the boy’s voice while the train was passing by.

  • Although the prosecution stated that the switchblade was rare and unusual, Juror #8 purchased one just like it from a store in the defendant’s neighborhood.

  • Some members of the jury decide that during a stressful situation, anyone could forget the names of the movie they had seen.

  • The 45 year old woman had indentations on her nose, indicating that she wore glasses. Because her eyesight is in question, the jury decides that she is not a reliable witness

Questions for analysis

Questions for analysis

  • Which characters base their decisions on prejudice?

  • Does Juror #8, or any other character, exercise “reverse discrimination”?

  • Should this trial have been a hung jury? Why / why not?

  • What are the most persuasive pieces of evidence in favor of the defense? Or the prosecution?

  • Describe the communication style of each juror. Who comes closest to your own style of communication?

  • How would you have voted if you were on the jury?

Act i questions

Act I Questions

  • 1) How is racism come ‘into play’ while the jurors begin their initial deliberation? /2

  • 2) Why is it important for Juror No. 8 to ‘talk’ about the case? /2

  • 3) List three facts the jurors present, which open the possibility that the boy may be ‘not guilty’. /3

  • 4) Illustrate how two of the jurors use their personal stories to develop further understanding of the case? To what end are their stories relevant? /4

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