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Twelve Angry Men.

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Twelve Angry Men The legal system in the United States of America grants one the right to a bench trial, where a judge determines the verdict, or a jury trial where, in most cases, where a panel of twelve United States citizens are sworn in to hear a case and then deliberate, after receiving instruction by the judge, to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant. In the movie, Twelve Angry Men, the selected group of jurors was to decide the verdict of a murder case where a young man was accused of killing his father. Although we did not get to see the trial, we did get to see the jury receive instructions from the judge in regards to the law and how there needed to be a unanimous verdict to convict the accused. After the jurors received their instructions from the judge, the jury was sent off to deliberate. This was when the true colors of the jury deliberation process were revealed. When the twelve jurors entered the room to deliberate, eleven out of the twelve began with a verdict of guilty without even discussing any of the evidence. ...read more.


If this was to be a part of the legal system, it is to be known to all of the jurors what the foreman's duties would entail. This could be told to the jury when the judge gives the instruction to the jury before they are sent off to deliberate. Although the jury or foreman has no legal experience, it would just be another instruction that would have to be followed. The foreman could act as if he/she were a judge to make sure that if another juror were to express some sort of bias or personal belief that it would not be used to help re-cap the case. This, of course, raises the question that Mark Nunez asked, "Is it possible for human beings to check their lived experience at the door?" (1). As one may know, all lawyers and judges are forbidden to represent or monitor a case based on their personal experience. Can we say this does not happen, no; but they practice the law and that is what is represented in court. A jury's job, as members of the court, is to reach a guilty or not guilty verdict based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, not based on personal reflection. ...read more.


With such uncertainty or suspicion, the jury could not possibly make a definite ruling that the young man killed his father because there was reasonable doubt. That is why, in a jury deliberation, one's gut instinct should not be a factor in reaching a verdict. Like the one particular juror who voted in favor of convicting the defendant from the start, he was certain that the boy did it, but when he was "challenged he could not admit that he did not know why he thought the accused was guilty. This shows how a man's character is used as a vehicle to expose a serious flaw in the system" (Nunez 1). So, is it safe to say that the legal system is flawless, of course not, but can justice still be attained? Yes. By having a jury deliberation it does allow outsiders to be selected to serve as a jury and evaluate a case based on the facts, but sometimes it takes that one person to assess all aspects of the case and make sure the accused can be convicted beyond reasonable doubt. One can only wish that every juror would do the same, but sometimes "the truth has to be brought to the eyes of the blind" (2). ...read more.

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