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12 Angry Men Movie Analysis

805 words - 4 pages

Twelve Angry Men Analysis BA 321

Reaching a unanimous vote, beyond a reasonable doubt, was a difficult task for the jurors represented in the film, 12 Angry Men. All but one were convinced the boy on trial was guilty of first degree murder based on eye witness testimony and circumstantial evidence. Uncomfortably hot and sweaty, one intent on getting to a ball game, eleven of the twelve jurors had no intention to stop and think about the life contingent on their verdict. The entire story was motivated by the reasonable doubt, communication competence, and persuasion of one man. Had they not discussed the evidence in further detail and investigated potential explanations, ...view middle of the document...

The communication which occurred in the group was primarily verbal, yet non-verbal communication was just as evident. There were several examples of non-verbal communication that were quite meaningful. After aggressively accusing Juror #5 of changing his vote based on his bias towards people from slums, Juror #3 made a face of incredible surprise when it was Juror #7 who admitted to the change. It was extremely rude when Juror #7 got up and walked to the men’s room when Juror # 9 was defending his reason for supporting Juror #8’s uncertainty of guilt. Profuse sweating, jacket removal, and face wiping articulated the agonizing heat contributing to irritability and irrational thinking. However, the most powerful example was when all but two jurors left the table and turned their backs to Juror #10 during his prejudicial rant.
The most effective person to use an “I” message was Juror #8. He stated, “I am not trying to change your mind, it’s just that we’re talking about somebody’s life here. We can’t decide it in five minutes” (Lumet, 1957). He convinced the other jurors to talk through the evidence and question the legitimacy of the witness’ testimony. He took responsibility for his stance by presenting his arguments in a clear and direct manner. While actively listening to feedback and other remarks, he went on to prove faulty evidence that became undeniable to the other jurors one by one. It took a considerable amount of persuasion to discredit the...

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