In all criminal cases presented in the courts of the United States, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The law requires the jury to release the defendant unless it is fully convinced of the defendant’s guilt. Many times it may be difficult for a jury to come to such a significant conclusion. This is clearly evident in the movie 12 Angry Men Essay. At first, each juror is convinced of his verdict except one.
Yet of those who are convinced that the boy on trial is guilty, all change their vote except one.
A precise example of this would be a comparison between Juror 3 and Juror 6. Both jurors have heard the same case and have studied the same evidence. Yet of the two, Juror 3 does not understand why anyone would consider the defendant not guilty. By taking a closer look at this character one may be able to understand why he seems to have no compassion towards the young boy.
At first, Juror 3 appears to be a successful businessman who owns a messenger service.
Yet as time goes on, one may see him as a sour and unhappy man. He wants to base the case solely on the evidence presented at the trial. Throughout the meeting in the jury room, Juror 3 disregards all other evidence brought up by Juror 8 and the others. He says that the evidence revealed may not be accurate or true. Therefore, it should not be taken into consideration.
As time goes on he becomes more and more passionate and seems to be somehow personally involved with the case.
At one point, he tells the other jurors about an argument between him and his son. Juror 3 and his son had an argument which made his son run away. When his son returned to apologize, Juror 3 hit him for leaving the first time thus leading him to run away once more. He has not seen his son in two years and this has left him somewhat bitter inside. His anger toward his supposed ungrateful son is projected toward the young man on trial. Juror 3 has no concern for the life of the defendant.
He makes it clear that he would have been an executioner and would have pulled the switch on the boy himself. His personal troubles have imposed on his ability to come to a verdict. In the movie, he exemplifies how hidden anger and a resentful attitude can obscure the truth.
On the contrary, Juror 6 tries to carefully study the case and come to a conclusion based on as much evidence as possible. Although he is convinced from the beginning, he is open-minded and believes in a fair trial. Yet being a painter, a simple man, when compared to the other eleven jurors he is somewhat unsure of himself and is afraid he may not make the best decision.
To counteract this he tries his best to search for motives which may have led the boy to kill his father. He believes the witnesses and takes their testimonies into great consideration.
There is only one time in the movie where Juror 3 and Juror 6 interact. Juror 3 becomes disrespectful towards Juror 9, the oldest member of the jury, and Juror 6 defends the old man. He says Juror 3 has no reason to be acting the way he is and should have respect towards the elderly. It can be inferred that both men come from different backgrounds, and that both hold different values and beliefs.
After much disagreement and flaring tempers among the jurors, one sees a drastic change in Juror 3. He sees the picture of him and his son in his wallet and his true emotions force him to change his vote to not guilty. Although it took more convincing, he finally realized that there was truly some doubt in his mind whether or not the boy was guilty. Juror 6 too changed his vote to not guilty after realizing that there was plausible evidence brought up in the jury room. Even though the jurors had to compromise their first beliefs on the case, both proved to be just .