Certainty and Doubt Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Twelve Angry Men, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. As a play portraying the deliberations of a jury in a murder trial, Twelve Angry Men is naturally concerned with the idea of justice. Yet the play does not represent either the American criminal justice system or the abstract concept of justice as simple or clear.
Plot[ edit ] In a New York City courthouse a jury commences deliberating the case of an year-old Hispanic boy  from a slum, on trial for allegedly stabbing his father to death. If there is any reasonable doubt they are to return a verdict of not guilty. If found guilty, the boy will receive a death sentence.
In a preliminary vote, all jurors vote "guilty" except Juror 8, who argues that the boy deserves some deliberation. Juror 8 argues that reasonable doubt exists, and that he therefore cannot vote "guilty", but concedes that he has merely hung the jury.
Juror 8 suggests a secret ballot, from which he will abstain, and agrees to change his vote if the others unanimously vote "guilty". The ballot is held and a new "not guilty" vote appears. An angry Juror 3 accuses Juror 5, who grew up in a slum, of changing his vote out of sympathy towards 12 angry men legal issues children.
However, Juror 9 reveals it was he that changed his vote, agreeing there should be some discussion.
Juror 5 then changes his vote. Juror 11 also changes his vote, believing the boy would not likely have tried to retrieve the murder weapon from the scene if it had been cleaned of fingerprints.
An angry Juror 3 shouts that they are losing their chance to "burn" the boy. Juror 8 accuses him of being a sadist. Jurors 2 and 6 then change their votes, tying the vote at 6—6. Shortly after, a thunderstorm begins. Juror 8 tests how well Juror 4 remembers previous days, which he does, with difficulty.
Juror 2 questions the likelihood that the boy, who was almost a foot shorter than his father, could have inflicted the downward stab wound found in the body. Jurors 3 and 8 then conduct an experiment to see whether a shorter person could stab downwards on a taller person.
The experiment proves the possibility but Juror 5 then steps up and demonstrates the correct way to hold and use a switchblade; revealing that anyone skilled with a switchblade, as the boy would be, would always stab underhanded at an upwards angle against an opponent who was taller than them, as the grip of stabbing downwards would be too awkward and the act of changing hands too time consuming.
Increasingly impatient, Juror 7 changes his vote to hasten the deliberation, which earns him the ire of other jurors especially 11 for voting frivolously; still he insists, unconvincingly, that he actually thinks the boy is not guilty.
Jurors 12 and 1 then change their votes, leaving only three dissenters: Jurors 3, 4 and Juror 10 then vents a torrent of condemnation of slum-born people, claiming they are no better than animals who kill for fun.
Most of the others turn their backs to him. When the remaining "guilty" voters are pressed to explain themselves, Juror 4 states that, despite all the previous evidence, the woman from across the street who saw the killing still stands as solid evidence.
Juror 12 then reverts his vote, making the vote 8—4.
Juror 9, seeing Juror 4 rub his nose which is being irritated by his glassesrealizes that the woman who allegedly saw the murder had impressions in the sides of her nose, indicating that she wore glasses, but did not wear them in court out of vanity.
Other jurors, most notable Juror 1, confirm that they saw the same thing. Jurors 12, 10 and 4 then change their vote to "not guilty", leaving only Juror 3.
Juror 3 gives a long and increasingly tortured string of arguments, building on earlier remarks that his relationship with his own son is deeply strained, which is ultimately why he wants the boy to be guilty.
He finally loses his temper and tears up a photo of him and his son, but suddenly breaks down crying and changes his vote to "not guilty", making the vote unanimous.
Outside, Jurors 8 Davis and 9 McCardle exchange names, and all of the jurors descend the courthouse steps to return to their individual lives. Cast[ edit ] The twelve jurors are referred to — and seated — in the order below: An assistant high school American football coach.
As the jury foreman, he is somewhat preoccupied with his duties, although helpful to accommodate others. He is the ninth to vote "not guilty", never giving the reason for changing his vote; played by Martin Balsam.
A meek and unpretentious bank worker who is at first dominated by others, but as the climax builds, so does his courage. He is the fifth to vote "not guilty"; played by John Fiedler.
A businessman and distraught father, opinionated, disrespectful and stubborn with a temper. The main antagonist and most passionate advocate of a guilty verdict throughout the film, due to having a poor relationship with his own son.
He is the last to vote "not guilty"; played by Lee J.Sep 04, · 12 Angry Men: The Law Student’s Review. Posted on September 4, September 4, by Pratiek Sparsh Samantara. In my project, I will try to scrutinize these aspects and also attempt to provide an understanding in the legal processes depicted in 12 Angry Men.
About the Movie. Feb 12, · Group Communication in 12 Angry Men Krystle Smith Regent University. 12 ANGRY MEN 2 issues involved in group communication such as: the role of leadership within this group and whether it was effective or not, how personal attitudes towards the backgrounds and cultures of.
12 Angry Men study guide contains a biography of Reginald Rose, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
University of Colorado, Boulder CU Scholar Undergraduate Honors Theses Honors Program Spring 12 Angry Men: An Analysis of How Law, Science, and Individual Persistence Saved DNA Profiling. Nov 17, · Moral and Legal issues in Twelve Angry men?
This movie is a very hard one to understand for me, and I would just like a little help in understanding some of the moral and legal issues that arise in the film (old version).Status: Resolved.
Sep 29, · In form, "12 Angry Men" is a courtroom drama. In purpose, it's a crash course in those passages of the Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. It has a kind of stark simplicity: Apart from a brief setup and a briefer epilogue, the entire film takes place 4/4.